This quote from Kahlil Gibran hangs on the wall in my office, an aspiration that I don’t always keep in the forefront of my mind. Every once in a while, though, life presents an opportunity to do something important, to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself.
Right now, I’m in the middle of such a moment. For the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Creating Community Solutions to help people all around the country who want to bring their community together to talk about mental health. This is not an easy topic, but it’s an important one that affects 1 in 4 people.
Young people are especially affected, and during this effort, a new idea called Text, Talk, Act was born. Text, Talk, Act combines text messaging, social media and face to face dialogue to help young people share their stories with each other, help a friend and make their voices heard. So far, thousands of young people in all 50 states have participated in conversations about mental health with their friends and peers.
At the forefront of this movement are a group of young adults on college campuses and in high schools who have stepped up to organize Text, Talk, Act dialogues in their communities. Many of these young people have had their own mental health challenges. So have I. To work with these people, to watch them transform adversity into strength and courage and advocacy is something I wouldn’t want to miss.
So…once again this spring, I am working with an amazing team to grow this movement and bring this opportunity for an authentic conversation to as many people as possible. Our team is passionate and creative and producing beautiful things in the service of this movement.
One beautiful manifestation of our Text, Talk, Act effort is a short video made by Kayhl Cooper. This film so beautifully captures what this is all about. It reminds me of the potential of what we are doing. In a time of disconnection and loneliness and isolation we are leveraging technology to create spaces all over the country where people can be together and talk about something personal, something that actually matters, something that can change a life
These dialogues can connect us, and change us, and activate us to work for something better in our own lives and in our communities. This work is love made visible, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.