Becoming a volunteer for Beto O’Rourke seemed like a sensible action to take. After all, if I want
him to win, I should take some action. Right? Can’t just sit around wishing. And so, Chris and I joined the campaign. The challenge came with the realization that volunteering basically involved doing one of two things: phoning or walking. Oh, dear!
I considered the facts that I do not see well, hear well, think quickly, grasp technology efficiently, or walk securely. Immediately I ruled out walking. However, within a short time, I decided that I did indeed want to walk door to door and encourage people to vote. I also insisted that Chris go with me. I fact, I delegated almost the entire job to Chris, with me along to keep him encouraged. While walking up a somewhat steep hill, I decided to broaden the concept of my usefulness by adding, “With me here, you seem less menacing.” My astonished husband replied, “You think I’m menacing?” “Well, sure. Without me, you might appear menacing.” After a brief discussion, Chris considered that maybe our rapid pace might frighten folks. “After all,” he added, “No one can possibly get away from us.” And so we continued slowly up the hill.
Now, here’s the deal. The campaign expects volunteers to knock on a minimum of 50 doors each time out. Chris estimates that 50 doors will take us five hours (and that’s if no one is home). As first-time walkers, we stopped after twelve doors, with five conversations, one request to return, and three plans to vote. And so with that minimal success under our belts, we definitely plan to walk again. Next time, I intend to add a few more houses. If we total all attempts by the day of the election, we might meet the 50-door goal.
Telephoning brings a different set of complications. The young leaders automatize everything beautifully. Before I can collect my thoughts at the end of a call, the next person requires a response. Being quick is not my best skill. All goes well if the automatic dialing system comes up with pleasant and agreeable individuals. This, unfortunately, does not always happen. When confronted with someone upset with the system, the Democratic Party, or the number of calls received, I feel a need to console. “Oh, I can tell you feel frustrated. I’ll do my best to make certain that does not happen to you again.”
On a serious note, each day Chris and I get to meet remarkable people of all ages. Young people definitely run this show, but seniors pick up the slack and join the cause with gusto. I believe in the importance of this effort — a small gift to the future. With this thought, I feel grateful for a chance to participate in a small way. AND, I will be very happy when all this ends.