Hannah Gregory: Fire vs. Fear
When asked to reflect on my time at People’s Liberty so far, my first reaction was “I can’t believe I’ve been here long enough to reflect on anything.” But here I am, and I can already tell I’m growing. I often walk a fine line between throwing every fiber of myself into projects or passions and tip-toeing gently around in the dark, afraid of messing up. At People’s Liberty, there’s no time for fear. (Seriously. We’re on a time limit.)
Our grants are not a contest; they’re an experiment. PL knows that some of its projects will turn out better than others. While ideally everyone’s project would skyrocket, the idea is less about producing a completely finessed, successful result and more about lighting the fire for action. (Read: “Hey, I did this! And now I know how to do it better.”) The journey never ends, y’all. We’re a mere stepping stone hoping to catapult our community into greatness. (Side note: As a Kentucky girl, I recently embraced y’all as a term of endearing enthusiasm. Take it how you will.)
It’s easy to scroll through my newsfeed and become dejected about the state of the world.
Everyone is self-absorbed.
The environment is crumbling.
Politics are in shambles.
Then I come to work.
Even on the craziest days, when I am scrambling to get everything together in time for an event, there’s always at least one moment where I feel my heart start to swell. We are pushing for betterment—not only that, we are enabling betterment. Most workplaces’ main goal is to make a monetary profit; here, economic income isn’t an issue. It’s not on the table. It’s not even in the house. Our goal is make our community the best it can be by investing in its members.
By working here, my knowledge of Cincinnati and its wonders grow exponentially. People’s Liberty also intrinsically gives me an underlying sense of support in my personal endeavors. I have found the unbridled vigor within me blossom into something more grounded, more self-assured. Seeing creative and impassioned individuals put themselves on the line encourages me to throw myself into projects without the fear of failure. Failure is not the worst thing can happen. Tentativeness turning into stagnancy is the worst thing that can happen.
So just do it. (Shameless plug? You tell me.)