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We’re in this for the long haul

by Katie on October 23, 2017

I was living in New York City when they enacted the smoking ban in bars and restaurants in 2003. I thought there was no way it would work. Cigarettes were everywhere, the city would revolt. I was working in restaurants at the time and assumed it would hurt business.

Thankfully I was wrong, and I appreciated leaving work every night without smelling like an ash tray.

After giving birth to my older sister, my Mom – still in the hospital bed – was offered a cigarette by the nurse in the delivery room. That was 1977.

Nowadays, I work for a Medical Center, and the entire hospital is a smoke-free zone. You can’t even smoke outside of the hospital.

Smoking bans are now so commonplace, my kids won’t even know what it’s like to be asked if you want the smoking or non-smoking section.

Taking on the tobacco lobby was certainly no small feat. Talk about a powerful goliath. But with time and dogged persistence, things began to change.

It is an important reminder for us all – we’re in this for the long haul. This is a marathon. Thankfully the abolitionists, the suffragettes, the civil rights leaders, the gay rights activists, didn’t choose complacency over action when they saw injustice in the world.

They were facing their own powerful goliaths. But they persisted and things eventually began to change.

It’s easy to forget how unpopular these movements were at the time. These figures have since become our heroes, but they weren’t always so revered. It took immense courage for these visionaries to not only see the injustice, but to do something about it.

The work we do now may be paving the way for the next generation. Or the one after that.

So here’s the question: What breaks your heart? What issues speak to your soul the most?

Whatever breaks your heart into pieces. Whatever gets you so mad you want to yell at your computer or tv set. Wherever you think things need to change. Follow that. We need you for the long haul.

This is a marathon. Put on your running shoes.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Emma L Giffen October 24, 2017 at 8:35 am

LOVE this – thank you Katie!!


Katie October 24, 2017 at 8:52 am

Love you Emma!!


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