Being the One in Boston and Beyond

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by Laura Gurvis, Associate Director

For several summers at Eisner we’ve been teaching our campers how to BE THE ONE at camp, at school, and in their communities at home. We’ve shown them how to BE THE ONE to stand up, speak up, or show up when something in our world is broken and needs repair. Whether it’s standing up to a bully, or speaking up about language that is not inclusive, or showing up to walk to raise money for others in need, we hope we’ve inspired and empowered our campers to return home to BE THE ONE to help fix whatever brokenness they see around them.

On January 21, I joined thousands of people in the Boston Common to march in the Boston Women’s March for America. Those assembled were there to stand up and be heard as a new Administration was beginning in our nation’s capital. I was too far from the podium to hear what many of the speakers were saying. However, the handmade signs in the crowd said it all: “Defend women’s rights!” “We won’t go back, we’ll fight back!” “Love, not hate, makes America great.” “Health care is a human right.” “I’m here to teach my daughter to never STAY OUT OF IT!” And there were hundreds more expressing disgust and dismay.

I marched through Boston with my husband, our youngest son, and thousands of others. At one point Senator Elizabeth Warren was right behind me and I was both star struck and inspired to march alongside her. Although I marched with strangers, I felt connected to those around me by our common goal to stand up, speak up and show up, to hopefully effect some change in Washington.

At one point during the day when the crowds overwhelmed me a bit, I began to doubt that my presence at the march really mattered or would make any difference at all. I told my family I was ready to go home. My husband responded by asking me if I had brought my own sign to the rally, what would it have said? My response was so quick, that I surprised myself! I told him that my sign would have said “BE THE ONE.” At that moment, I realized that I had truly embraced the lesson I hope I have helped to teach others. I stood up, spoke up and showed up to BE THE ONE and with renewed purpose and a smile, I marched on.