If idealism has a zip code, it must be NC 28202. Thousands of volunteers are gathering there this week dedicating their time and enthusiasm to make the 2012 Democratic National Convention a success.
For most it is a singular experience. Some have travelled just a few blocks, others crossed a couple of state lines and a few crossed an ocean just to be part of the energy that is electrifying the city of Charlotte.
They all have their stories and reasons to be here. I can only tell you mine as I’m one of those thousands who are lucky enough to be a part of this grand display of democracy in action. And while I’m not allowed to vote at least I can help convince those who can.
It’s not the first time I joined the US political circus. I volunteered during the 2008 election campaign but this is of another scale. This setting is the Valhalla for political junkies; a chance to meet likeminded spirits among the volunteers and staff and to forge lasting bonds. A week where you work together under intense pressure and be part of a bigger cause you believe in; a week where your main energy source is pure adrenaline. It’s a campaign rush that makes you feel alive. You can only experience such a feeling every so often and I for one feel the luckiest person alive to be part of this rally around a cause I believe in.
So while you’re watching coverage on the Democratic Convention this week and you feel inspired to rally around a cause you believe in, just do it. In the end of the day we are all part of a community and change starts in your neighbourhood. Or as President Obama would say it: ‘Yes, we can’.
Greeting from cloud nine.