Moving the World Along

Push“I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as if they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” – Helen Keller

This quotation has hung on my bulletin board since I began working with Nebraska Appleseed – nearly three years ago now. Nebraska Appleseed has an impressive vision and power for moving the state forward, and the organization has accomplished that vision in some great and noble ways: contributing to the passage of federal health reform, engaging in a lawsuit to protect the rights of Medicaid recipients, launching the “Nebraska is Home” campaign to build strong, vibrant, and integrated communities. Heroic and mighty shoves if you ask me.

However, each day we contribute to the aggregate of “tiny pushes” that move our state forward as well. Particularly in the Low Income Economic Opportunity program, the constant push towards economic well-being frequently comes in the form of consistent pressure. To eradicate poverty for good, we must have a foundational commitment to building economic opportunity and assuring that all families have access to the support they need to succeed. So today, I want to share with you some examples of the small pushes forward the Low Income Economic Opportunity program has recently made:

  • We provided a training to our Job Opportunities Working Group regarding resources for job training. Discussing ways to expand job opportunities is an important ongoing conversation as our state continues to work towards recovery.
  • We helped a caller on our “Intake and Information Line” to navigate the Aid to Dependent Children program and assure that she and her children get the support they need to move ahead in spite of struggles with mental illness.
  • Our opinion piece, “SNAP Funds Aid Great Many” ran in the Omaha World Herald on May 10. This piece shared the point of view that public benefits have multiple positive effects for our communities, and that we should consider all the impacts in discussion of public programs.

In the aggregate, our “pushes” are powerful. Appleseed’s fight for equal justice and full opportunity moves our state forward every day – sometimes in inches and sometimes in miles. I hope this serves as a reminder that your pushes are powerful too: whatever you do to make our state a more successful, welcoming, healthy, or effective place – keep doing it. We will too.

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