I went to Mountain Moral Monday for very different reasons than I went to the demonstrations in Raleigh. I didn't go to cheer or even hear the speakers really. At a time when I was getting a lot of attention, I wanted to go and just be one of the people in the crowd.
People recognized me there and I'm used to everywhere I go people wanting to talk to me about something. I don't like attention, but that's happened before any of this and will happen regardless. The fact it's going to happen for other reasons for a little while isn't much different than normal. I'm an introvert so I know how to escape people and still be with them when I need to.
I ended up watching part of Moral Monday from under a spectacular tree. There was a sign that said no climbing but I climbed it anyway. It was an act of civil disobedience. Then I walked up the walkway behind the stage for awhile.
From where I was, I could watch the crowd. There were so many people. I thought about my petition and how each one of the signatures represented a person and maybe even a person there. Rev. Barber started talking about how we are all one people. We were all different but all the same because we care.
I sat down for a bit, there behind the concrete wall, and just thought about things. My friends have believed in me from the start. My mom's friends jumped on it and helped so much. I talked to some very nice people on the phone yesterday who encouraged me and are helping me. I totally know now I did the right thing.
After the rally, we went to eat and I met a man who had been arrested at one of the previous Moral Mondays. I talked to a nice family whose county is really hurting right now. A nice lady came up to the table and told me she'd signed the petition and encouraged me. People were talking about how even though things are so bad there is so much hope we can't help but feel good.
A lot of people want to tell me how because I'm young, I give them hope for the future. I am totally humbled at such a suggestion. I think though that the real hope for the next generation is all of us. It's what all of us are doing right now.
North Carolina citizens believe in each other. The rest of the world who is watching sees it. Forward together is not just a slogan. This is not just a moment, it's a movement. If you don't believe that, look at how many people in NC and all over the world are helping me knock on a door.