When I first met my partner, he was very much involved in a local group that taught civics to kids and adults, helped members of the community register to vote, and campaigned for group members running for local government positions. Our acquaintances–everyday people–have gone on to become a state senator, a state representative, and a gubernatorial candidate. By the people, for the people.
On our third date, my partner taught me a trick to memorize the Bill of Rights, which involved visualizing different objects at different locations on the body. As I recited my rights in the corner of an empty restaurant surrounded by brass decor and Indian linens, I imagined a speaker on top of the head for freedom of speech, a bullet between my teeth for freedom to bear arms, and so on. In the time since, my innate love of historical facts and expanded to the practical. How can I, as a single individual with little power or influence, create a better community for myself and future generations? Currently, that involves lots of research into potential politicians in my city who may one day go on to represent my district, state, or country.
I have always been of the belief that if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself. I hate that I feel that way, yet, while life is filled with pleasant surprises, others often fall short of our expectations. While I have no intention of running for local government, I recently saw the below quote and was reminded that every one of us (at least those in the free world) has the privilege and opportunity to band together with the like-minded and march hand-in-hand towards a brighter future. It doesn’t require violence or animosity, but instead thoughtfulness and communication. All you need is willingness to listen, stand on principle, and challenge the status quo.
“We can no longer sit in front of a screen and complain that the other side is not playing by a rulebook they discarded long ago, but to which we still irrationally cling. Instead we should determine what we stand for, what we want our future to look like and plot a course to that future – understanding, and anticipating, the resistance we will face along that path. Our road to victory starts when we can see that truth, join with our fellow like-minded citizens and face forward towards the eminent struggle ahead.”Lt. Col. Max Morton
I don’t care what your political leaning may be, but I would implore you to look away from the screen for a bit. Think critically and independent of your favorite new source. Consider what you want for you future and that of your children and grandchildren, or nieces or nephews. Are we on the right path? If not, what would you change? And, if that change is far beyond the realm of your authority, what small step can you take today?
A brighter future won’t show up all at once, but we can begin laying the foundation for future generations today.