Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

A New Chapter

"Serenity," by See-Ming Lee

So we have a new president.

Friday’s inauguration marked the beginning of a new chapter in America’s history. And whether you view this chapter as a thriller, a mystery, a comedy, a drama, or a romance, the truth is this: we’re all characters in the story.

So what part will you play?

How will you advance the plot?

Because… you can advance the plot, you know.  It’s just up to you to figure out how.

I have friends and colleagues who stay up to the minute on political moves and maneuvers and regularly call and write to their local representatives to voice both approval and disapproval. That’s how they advance the plot.

I have friends and colleagues who work in industries supporting women’s and reproductive health, mental health, and veteran support. They keep their voices loud and consistent when they feel that those services are in danger of being cut. That’s how they advance the plot.

I have friends and colleagues who work in the arts, and continue to make beautiful music and theater to remind us that it is through art that our stories are told, and therefore our history remembered. That’s how they advance the plot.

I have friends and colleagues who volunteer at local community shelters, hospitals, parks and gardens. Because they know that a beautiful and thriving community is the bedrock of a beautiful and thriving country. That’s how they advance the plot.

So, what will you do? Plant a tree? Run for office? Write a letter? Give a hug? Volunteer? Speak up? Speak out? Whatever it is, just remember that your actions, whether big or small, are advancing the plot.

Future generations will be reading this chapter. Don’t let yourself be that character that shows up on page 32, leaning against the wall with your arms crossed and your head down, never to be seen or heard from again. Don’t be a forgotten character.

A new chapter, like a new year, is an opportunity. So grab it. Do you think this chapter is a thriller and do you hate thrillers? Then advance the plot towards a romance. Do you think this chapter is a mystery and do you love mysteries? Then delve into the mystery and revel in figuring out what’s going to happen next. But through it all remember this: the only thing that advances a plot is action.  So, what will yours be?

How will you advance the plot today?


Wings & Whimsy Challenge: HOWL!

Challenge: What will you do to advance the plot? Tell me
about it in the comments below, or tweet it to me


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“A New Chapter”, The Leadership Program, 2017


Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.