Friday, October 23, 2009

Why It's Called Running

I've been out for the past four nights: at Santa Clara University Law School with Justice Moreno who received an award; at the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club's fall event; at the Bar Association of San Francisco Foundation's gala; and at the Minority Bar Coalition's award ceremony where I accepted an award for Justice Moreno. I'm three episodes behind on "Glee" and no one told that "30 Rock" has started its new season.

Today I took the day off so I could sleep past eight but as soon as I was up I was on the computer and then I went to lunch with two judges. One of them, who successfully ran for the trial court, told me this is the toughest part of a campaign because there are so many elements to coordinate and they all have to be done at once and pretty much by the candidate.

Though my eyes feel as if I've walked through a sandstorm and there have been moments when I really thought my brain would explode, it's been kind of exhilerating, too. One of the many remarkable people I met told me that I could expect people to come out of nowhere and work their hearts out for me; my friend the judge told me running for office was on the hardest things she had ever done but it was also one of the best years of her life because she discovered strengths she never knew she had.

What has impressed me is the decency and idealism of so many of the people I've met this week, some of them young but many my age, or older, who are still motivated by the desire to make the world a more equitable place for everyone.

I have come to believe there are two histories of humanity. The one in the history books is mostly about men killing each other over things that don't belong to them. The other one, seldom written about in the official texts, is the secret history of human decency, kindness, and generosity -- all the loving and selfless acts (and so often by women) that have kept this whole human enterprise afloat. What has inspired me as I race around the city is the hope that I am part of this secret history.

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