Our character is being tested. Discontentment reigns. As citizens, how we respond now reflects on us. Will our character strengthen? Will we undertake good works with and for others?

Our answers cast a reflection on our neighborhoods and communities. Our answer can spring forward with One20.

How We Arrived Here

The past U.S. Presidential election has been tough on a lot of people – during and after. With the language used, it stirred the worst in some and created an environment of fear. The votes are in, and many know we are much better than what the election represented. We know we are better than the divisive voices and actions of a few.

On November 9th, I received an invite to a Facebook group from a friend. After I accepted, Susanne’s post was straightforward:

“Please join in this effort to spend inauguration day in our communities as we shift the dynamic from division to unity, from blame to engagement, and from hatred to kindness.”

One20 is the initiative, and the message and idea resonated. I messaged Susanne to see if there was interest in trying to spark a bigger movement. She agreed, and we are launching One20 to a larger community. We want to trigger a day of doing good.

Why One20?

One20 designates a day – January 20, Inauguration Day. Much more than this, we want to make January 20 a day to do good. We want to show the good side of our actions and character.

We hear the words “be the change” often. More than ever, we need to be the example of positive change and action. “Be the change” can start by doing good on January 20.

What One20 Is Not

One20 is not a political protest or a celebration of the election.

What One20 Is

One20 is a day to bring out the best in ourselves by doing good for those in our community.

One20 is more than a day. One20 embraces the idea that it takes one person to make a positive difference. When an individual gathers 20 friends (more or less), our positive impact grows. When we ask friends and family in other cities and neighborhoods to organize a day of doing good, we see the power of connected momentum.

The One20 philosophy is simple:

We must be the change we wish to see in our community.

Positive action overwhelms divisiveness.

Our children deserve a renewed model of cooperation and civility.

Doing good triggers an encouraging ripple effect.

One20 is day – and a spark – to begin.

One20: Positive Democracy

Democracy is noisy. At times, democracy is messy, too. We must remember democracy is about us. Whether we like it or not, democracy reflects our society. If we want a better reflection, then we need to take positive action. We need to do good in more places at more times.

I am a big fan of Leonard Cohen, a poet, songwriter, and artist. Leonard Cohen recently passed away and left a hole in our music and literature. One of his songs is “Democracy.” The lyrics resonate:

“It’s coming to America first,

the cradle of the best and of the worst.

It’s here they got the range

and the machinery for change

and it’s here they got the spiritual thirst.

It’s here the family’s broken

and it’s here the lonely say

that the heart has got to open

in a fundamental way:

Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.”

A spiritual thirst exists today, stronger than before, I believe. Many feel broken, but it is time for our hearts to open. We need to rock our democratic cradle to our best side so we can renew the spirit of our character through our ability to do good works.

Democracy requires citizens to do their best, and One20 is a day to renew our commitment to do our best by helping others.

A spiritual thirst exists today, stronger than before, I believe.



One20: Taking Action

We begin. The call is for each of us to use One20 as a rallying day for doing good. We want to see “doing good” projects in towns, cities, precincts, neighborhoods, classrooms, and counties across all states. One day, many people, doing good.

What can you do? Here are 7 steps to begin:

  1. Learn: Visit the Today website to learn more.
  2. Get started: Review the “Get Started” section to jumpstart you’re doing good ideas. Doing good does not need to be complex. Simple acts of good have a powerful impact, too.
  3. Start: Most importantly, begin. Gather friends. Brainstorm ideas. Decide on a doing good project. Prepare for the day – January 20. Do the good work. Create your own Facebook group to gather people and organize. Use the One20 graphics to show your support.
  4. Spark: Tell your friends and family members and encourage them to do the first six steps as well!

Join in! We are glad to partner with like-minded organizations and individuals. Raise your voice, and fire-up your actions.

One20: Our Response

We can worry.

We can sit on the sidelines.

We can point fingers.

We can agitate on Facebook.

We can pose useless questions that result in more talk and little action.

I believe we have awakened to be and do better.

Our character knows we can do better, and we can revive our spirit of civility and compassion.

Let us begin today.

Let us plan our good works projects.

Let’s gather our friends to show our good character on January 20.

Let’s do good on January 20.

Are you in? Will you join in #One20?