As I write this, I’m waiting for a phone call. Our church recently completed pouring concrete for a much-needed upgrade on the parking spaces by the daycare facility. They were asking for help and so, although Bob and I have absolutely no experience in these things, we showed up to see what we could do, which was as expected—very little. So I provided food for the workers for a few days.
Now some painting needs to be done, a yellow caution strip to prevent tripping over the little step-up to the sidewalk. Again, I’ve never painted on concrete, but put a brush in my hand and tell me where and I might actually make a small contribution! (Or a mess, or both…)Continue reading “Where’s my brush?”
“But please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it.”
“It’s up to each and every one of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer.”
“…stay engaged on every level.”
“We need you. America needs your energy.”
That pretty well sums it up, no matter who we did or did not vote for. So yeah, the truth is that, regardless of the 40+ hour work week or lack thereof, the car in the shop and the dishes in the sink, the kids’ activities, the bills, the aging parents and/or concern about the how to deal with the in-laws…somewhere in there, our country needs our involvement, our voice, our help.
I love the story of Moses when God first called to him from the burning bush. The short version goes something like this:
About five times, in fact, and answered by some practical strategies that necessitated Moses’ (as Mrs. Clinton puts it) “energy and engagement”. In other words, it cost him something.
Obviously, there is no disagreement about the American right to disagree, and in that view, the most current presidential election was not unique. (The Brits have their own version…)
Pugnacious verbal blood-letting is a time honored tradition in all the colors (not merely red and blue) of the political spectrum. Unfortunately, school children are not the only ones adept at playground bullying; they learn it well from us adults. What seems to be passion for “our” cause can easily go beyond true activism into irreparable damage. Advocacy becomes practical, however, when I choose to step in and confront the day-to-day “adult-bullying” which takes many creative forms, some of which can be couched in seeming sophistication, much of it in my own backyard.
There are also other ways to stay engaged, regardless of whether or not your candidate of choice won the election. Here are a few practical suggestions, and I hope you may add more in the comment section:
Maybe your thing is political advocacy. Here’s good comment from the interaction with my oldest daughter: “A way to be involved is to not only confront any hateful actions or remarks you personally come across, but also to hold your representatives accountable. Be in contact with your state and federal lawmakers. When I was a lobbyist (for lack of a better term), constituent concerns were the most important thing, hands down. As few as 20 phones calls from constituents could sometimes sway a lawmaker’s vote. If you disagree with them, tell them.”
Now for a challenging word for us bloggers, tweeters, instagrammers, snapchatters, and otherwise connoisseurs of fine social media. Try reading some writings by those from the opposing side of the argument. True debaters are taught to contend on each side; it causes them to learn the age-old skill of walking a mile in the other guy’s shoes. Another wise quote from my progeny:
“If you want to see a perspective firmly lodged in the liberal camp, look at Shaun King’s Facebook page. I’m not saying I agree with him, but it might be a place to see another side of things, or at least to see why people are worried. My newsfeed has a decidedly liberal slant, so I intentionally continue to follow more conservative folks so I’m not unaware.”
I love her word “intentional”. I’ve followed Pied Type since I started this blogging thing. We are obviously divergent in our worldviews, which is good for me. It’s a beautiful site, so check it out!
And while we’re at it, how many of us are guilty of initiating and/or forwarding unseemly and unsubstantiated emails or posts about “the other side”, hmmmm???
Moses became instrumental in delivering God’s people from tyrannical rule. Now, you can apply that allegorically however you wish, but the point remains—you are needed, not merely to advance the policies dear to your heart, but also and at the same time (please hear this), to help maintain the “indivisible” part of the pledge most of us grew up with. It is, in fact, the American way.
Here are a few other quotes from another famous American who had his share of personal and political vilification, and eventual made the ultimate sacrifice.
While we must, by all available means, prevent the overthrow of the government, we should avoid planting and cultivating too many thorns in the bosom of society. –March 18, 1864 Letter to Edwin M. Stanton
I have desired as sincerely as any man — I sometimes think more than any other man — that our present difficulties might be settled without the shedding of blood. –April 26, 1861 Address to the Frontier Guard
I appeal to you again to constantly bear in mind that with you, and not with politicians, not with Presidents, not with office-seekers, but with you, is the question, “Shall the Union and shall the liberties of this country be preserved to the latest generation?” –February 11, 1861 Speech to Gov. Morton in Indianapolis
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…” –March 4, 1865 Inaugural Address