Some personal slice of life musings. Read on at your own peril.
I’ve been wanting to “get involved” for a long time. As I see it: if you want things in your life to change your next step is to get off your keister and set processes in motion to affect that change. I’ve stood by that philosophy in terms of my professional and personal life, and I can honestly say I live by my principles.
But what about the stuff around me? I can b*tch and moan online until my fingers fall off but apart from indulging some catharsis WTF am I accomplishing?
Right: el Zippo.
So, where do I even begin trying to help clean up the messes that I see?
First off, the idea of getting active politically does not fly with me. I get that corrupt and dysfunctional institutions (in other words, essentially every government agency there is) need to be infiltrated by “good guys” with an agenda of cleaning house, but in the end I see participating in such a process as tacit endorsement of the idea that government needs to be involved in positive change. I reject that notion. I am no Reagan fan (sorry, but no) but one quote does resonate with me:
“Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
So. There are other ways to get involved and I am taking the first steps down that road. I’ve already been reasonably active in local Chamber of Commerce activities and I’m upping the ante on that involvement. I’ve joined a newly-resurgent local small business council and the quality and energy of my fellow members is heartening. I’m also making connections with local grassroots movements, forming alliances with other local “solopreneurs” and becoming part of a groundswell of local people taking charge and making stuff happen outside of “official” channels.
There will be hard work, and frustration, and setback, and often the only compensation for my time and energy will be good karma. I’m cool with that.
This town is my home, and it (along with a lot of America) has been adrift for far too long under the mistaken idea that “they” (meaning the powers that be) are handling things. They are not. We have some wonderful local politicians, don’t get me wrong (I can name three without even trying, starting with Utica’s awesome current Mayor), but in the end it’s up to us—the citizens and businesspeople of this town—to do the grunt work to make good things happen. I know from personal experience the local government (the part that’s functional) is on board with that notion. I applaud their demonstrated interest in the movements I’m aware of, and trust they will also know when it’s necessary to do the most good by simply stepping aside and not getting in our way.
Waiting for someone else to create a job for you, or to clean up a local problem, or to do pretty much anything you want to happen is an exercise in futility. “They” are not looking out for your interests, they have their own issues. It’s up to you.
You don’t like something about your life? Get out of your chair and change it.
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