My First Day In A Blue State

My brother-in-law, Paul was the first to call me this morning to give me the news that Indiana had gone for Obama. We went to bed after O’s bomb acceptance speech (cried like a baby) not knowing for sure. After I said goodbye to Paul I popped out of bed, put on the same Obama t-shirt I wore yesterday (I know, but I don’t care!) and marched myself right outside.

Now I’m having the most bizarre impulses. In the last hour I’ve had a strong urge to buy a bunch of iTunes, drink a triple Americano, and hug complete strangers. So far I’ve only given into the second one, which, given the randomness of this post, won’t likely come as a surprise to you.

I’ve been thinking a lot this past week about what’s next. Last night after insulting large folks by using that tired “the fat lady sang” line, Tavis Smiley threw out a phrase that struck me as interesting: engagement dividends. He wondered how Obama would spend the surplus of energy an engaged electorate brings to the table.

It’s a really great question, but maybe not one that Obama has to answer by himself. Those engagement dividends belong to the common good. Though I fully expect him to provide some ways for average citizens to take part in his administration, I see no need to limit my involvement that way.

As for me, I’m watching my part of town very closely. Right now, it is still a swirling cloud of friendly energy working to pull itself into ball of successful hotness. There are eleventy million ways for anyone who lives on the East Side of Indianapolis to take part. And if there is one thing working on this campaign taught me, once you are involved at all, you will care in more ways than you ever thought possible. This is doubly true if you are working in the area of your gifts.

So, think about it. Do you get a sense that there are engagement dividends in your neck of the woods? Is there a way to grow them? Because if there was ever a time to turn the common good into uncommon good, it is now.

(Update: I hugged a complete stranger at The Goose Market this afternoon!)

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4 Comments on “My First Day In A Blue State”

  1. Rosie Says:

    We are happy to have you in the Blue State column and I’m absolutely certain it has a lot to do with the tireless work of people like you and our friends Lara Young and Naeemah Jackson.

    The election of a man who is like so many Americans, is the son and grandson of many different types of people from many different racial and ethnic backgrounds, who came from a hard working though not socially or economically privileged family proves to me that the promise of America can still hold true. So, turns out it wasn’t a waste of time for my sheep herding great-grandparents from Southern Italy or my farmer great-grandparents from Ireland to get on boats and move to America so their great-grandchildren could have a better future and more opportunities.

    Today is a good day to be an American.

    Thanks Troy! From the Blue State of PA.

  2. Annabel Says:

    I was just writing about Indiana! I’m SO PROUD of Indiana! (Half my soul is in the Indiana Dunes.) So from the great blue state of New York, I hereby welcome you to intelligence lol.

    Not sure I understand the engagement dividends concept? (Maybe I’m not so intelligent after all.) But I can definitely relate to the warm fuzziness. I have been quite shocked at my emotional response to this victory. I just wasn’t expecting it. I FEEL that hope thing we’ve all been working for. And it feels good. Really good.

  3. adamj Says:

    Way to go, Indiana! I have to say that I am pretty shocked they went blue… i thought the redneck ratio was just a bit too high. DC was one of those that they wanted until 1 minute after the polls closed with 0% of precincts reporting to call it. DC went 94% to 6…

    Was that speech awesome or what? i was also tearing up, especially that part about the 106 year-old lady.

  4. pinidielf Says:

    How r u? your website is rocks
    I have a new band and we just had a live gig u can see here:

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