November President's Message

How Do You Take Things? 

When I reached the Franklin County Board of Elections building to cast my vote early, I was stunned that I couldn’t see the end of the line for people waiting to vote, no matter how far I kept walking.  Mind you, I arrived punctually at 1:00 PM when the polls opened, feeling quite confident I would beat the rush and just get in and out in 15-20 minutes. Easy-peasy, right? 

Instead, I was met with a snaking line that went beyond my line of sight, with hundreds upon hundreds of people already in line, with a constant flow of others taking their place after me. Random thoughts, “Oh my gosh, why didn’t I eat breakfast? Darn, I’m so thirsty, why didn’t I bring my water bottle? I should have thrown that banana in my purse. Maybe I should have waited to vote on Election Day…”

Instead of getting irritated or impatient with the eminent long wait in front of me, I unexpectedly became emotional. This was, in my mind, “Simply awesome, amazing, incredible.” Those were the words I silently repeated many times over, as I got a little choked up. 

Standing in line to vote that day, I simply felt enormous gratitude for many things. First, the right to vote, which many take for granted. I felt gratitude for how many people were sharing this with their children, how kind and respectful everyone was regardless of our longer than normal wait, and how many people were curious about candidates across party lines based on the varied literature in their hands. Finally, I was grateful for how upbeat and buoyant people were feeling and the random conversation with strangers from all walks of life.

I thought, “This is what true engagement looks like. People taking the time to show up, be intentional about why they are there, getting to know others around them, and understanding that their participation makes a difference on every level.” This was not taking our right to vote for granted, it was a mass display of gratitude. 

“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted, or you take them for gratitude.” - C.K. Chester

How do you take things?

When I think of NAWBO Columbus and the amazing work that so many of you have done, I take this with deep gratitude. It has taken hundreds upon hundreds of women during the past twenty years to create the Chapter we’re lucky to experience today. It would be easy to take it for granted now that we are the largest chapter in the U.S., with hundreds of members, and critical staff in place to take us to the next level. The great news- I know you aren’t taking it for granted. Why?

Just like my voting experience, I have observed each of you making a difference by showing up, being intentional about why you are there, going out of your way to make everyone feel welcome, and knowing your participation makes an impact in the NAWBO experience for all of us. 

In this season of giving thanks, I want to emphasize how truly grateful I am for this wonderful journey with you. Thank you for engaging in the way you do. You create gratitude perhaps without realizing it.   

Wishing you a month filled with bountiful blessings and the enjoyment of taking things with gratitude!

Tonya Tiggett

President, NAWBO Columbus