Written by Cindi Castilla (President of Dallas Eagle Forum)
I fell in love with reading quite young. My mind would create pictures of the landscapes and people and I would sometimes imagine myself in the situations the story explored. When reading Johnny Tremain, I wondered if I would be willing to risk capture and maybe even death to spread pamphlets about the Revolution? Yes!
Reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, I promised myself that I too would hide Jews if I lived in Germany. I would have been part of the Resistance during the Nazi occupation.
I would endure hardship, live on the prairie and help do the hard work to survive! I would help slaves along the underground railroad! If I lost use of my hand and legs, I would write with my mouth (like Joni E. Tada and several others!) Books helped me not want to miss any worthy opportunity.
How in the world did reading lead me to politics?
My parents were always supporting people for office while I was growing up. We would collate flyers for distribution at polling places as a family. Long car rides became discussions of political issues. I became a Christian in High School and transferred to a private school where I began to understand God’s amazing design for man and for me. I had a standout government teacher in 12th grade who introduced me to Adam Smith, Milton Freedman, our amazing Constitution and the fact that Time Magazine was liberal!
There was a moment when I realized I could make a difference… I wanted to live out the novel or the biography. I could dive into issues and politics and do something rather than only read about how others made a difference.
I joined conservative groups at college, made calls for trusted candidates, handed out material at the polls. I got my friends to register to vote. When we were a young couple, my husband and I offered to help our precinct chairman. I became my precinct chair. We joined a republican club. I became an officer in that club. We got elected to attend the state convention over and over. I was asked to serve on committees at the Senatorial district and State level. All I had to do was step up and say, Yes!
I joined Texas Eagle Forum and other groups to educate me on issues. Just knowing a little bit about people representing us or running for office – while also understanding some issues has allowed me to educate my children, friends and neighbors. They now look forward to my endorsements of good people who will represent their conservative values in office.
I won’t go on to be a heroine in a book or to star in a movie, but I do know that I will leave a small footprint of effort on the future of my state and nation. I just want to write my own story and help our good leaders write theirs – in any way that I can.