Some might find it odd that I’m writing a birthday note to myself. But here I am doing just that. You see, I’ve spent the majority of the past year of my life writing about Minnesota, equality, gay marriage and the “mean-spirited marriage amendment.” I’ve received some not-so-nice emails and comments along the way, but the positive ones have more than made up for them. As I look back on this journey, I smile at some of the messages of support I’ve received:
I want to be able to say that I did my part in this lifetime to fight for what is right! I can’t begin to tell you how much your support means! I will be fighting alongside of you for the next 23 days…and for as long as it takes!
I appreciate you and your efforts! Keep up the great work.
Keep up the good work. I am talking to anyone who will listen to me at work. People like you are changing the world…
LOVE this blog… I have your back!!!
Moved to tears. Thank you Mark.
May God continue to bless you as you share your point of view, which I continue to proudly support!
I won’t lie and tell you it hasn’t been a lot of work or that there haven’t been days that I’ve thought, “I’m just too tired to post something today.” But as I look back at the collection of nearly 500 posts and 50,000+ page views, I realize the power that one person can have in this world. Have I convinced people that have visited this site to vote NO with me? I’ll never know. But have I helped educate, inform and influence people? You bet.
And that’s what we’ve all been attempting to do since day 1. When Minnesotans realize that this amendment hurts real people, when they understand another point of view and when they see just who is impacted by this amendment, they are more likely to vote NO.
To my friends that asked me, “Mark, what do you want for your birthday?” I joked, “A resounding defeat of the marriage amendment!” Of course, that gift doesn’t just come from my friends. It comes from strangers. From other Minnesotans that stand up and say NO to writing discrimination into our state constitution.
When they’ve asked me, “No, really, what do you want?” I’ve made one simple request: Please make a donation to my Fundraising Page celebrating me, my journey, my efforts, this blog. There’s no greater gift to me than the support and love of my friends, my followers and strangers across this great state that have stood with me.
So what’s ahead for the next year of my life? I don’t know. Had you asked me that question last year at this time, I could never have predicted the journey I was about to embark on. What I do know is that I hope to celebrate the defeat of this mean-spirited amendment. I also know that, no matter what, my friends, family and loved ones will stand by my side, as they have throughout this year.
For those that are not yet convinced that you have the power to influence and make change, I leave you with my favorite quote from Margaret Mead:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Here’s to an exciting new year. I can’t wait to unwrap my present on NOvember 6th.