This article provides you with new ideas and actions for you in two important ares. First, we all need to get actively involved this fall to make sure we elect Barack Obama. So I found a very useful checklist of actions that will be effective and efficient for your own “busy lives.” Second, I provide you with some life-changing and life-saving ideas about how we should be valuing out time. As I get older and experience more, I sure wish I knew what I know now back when I was in my teens and twenties. So please enjoy the amazing paradoxes of our time.
So you have finally realized that the country is going to Hell in a hand basket. Corrupt politicians who pander to corporations, legislation that doesn’t reflect your values, tax dollars being spent obscenely. It all seems like too much to think about – it would be so much easier to just sit your ass on the couch and watch CSI. But that’s what they want you to do. Below I provide a dozen ways for you to get involved. None of the ideas are meant to be partisan in nature. Regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on, you can still get involved. It’s not a difference of opinions that will bring down the empire – it’s apathy. So get off the couch, and get involved.
- Attend a Rally – There’s nothing to make you feel more involved with a cause than attending a rally. Mingling with people who share your ideas and are working towards a common goal can be truly inspirational.
- Get Your Coworkers to Vote – This can be as simple as encouraging others to get out and vote. Or you could post flyers in your break room explaining the virtues of voting to the less socially conscious. If you are the boss, give your people some time off to go out and vote. The work will be there when they get back.
- Create an Online Petition – Gone are the days of going door to door to get people to sign a petition. With the advent of the Internet, getting people involved is a breeze. A few resources: Petition Spot; The Petition Site; and Petition Online.
- Volunteer for Campaign – Running for office requires a lot of work, and a lot of people to help. There are plenty of things you can do to help: hand out literature, host a reception, help with mailings, and more. Just find somebody you like and contact them – they’ll tell you how you can best help with their efforts.
- Alert the Media – Mainstream media is obsessed with sensationalism and fear, at the neglect of stories that should be getting attention. If you know of something that isn’t getting the attention it deserves, say something about it. Let ’em know, maybe they’ll surprise you. Contact your local NBC affiliate or MSNBC if the story has national impact.
- Host a House Party – Open your home to host a fundraising party for your candidate. These intimate gatherings can be ideal for sharing information and getting people involved. The casual setting of a home, and the spirit of a party make it less stuffy. For more information check out Meetup. They’ve got info for any city you can think of.
- Write Letters to Congress – Tell your representatives exactly what you are thinking. For best results, write from the heart, and try a personalized letter, instead of a form letter. Contacting your representative is easy using the Internet.
- Involve Your Family – Getting your family involved with your activities can go a long way to keeping you active. Introducing your kids to the political process and getting them active will help keep you going (as a role model) and will set your kids in an active mindset.
- Fight the Power – Attend your town hall meetings, and let your local representatives know how you feel. Need a new traffic light to help reduce speeding in your neighborhood? Tired of your public school’s lack of funding? Find out when City Hall has it’s monthly meetings, and attend. The floor opens up for new business, and you can make your opinion known.
- Give Money – When all else fails, you can always dig into your pocket and provide financial assistance. There aren’t any organizations that couldn’t use a couple of extra bucks to help with their cause. There are no shortage of places to donate – find a cause that you agree with and send them $50 (or whatever you can afford). It’s easy to do and your donation will go a long way.
- Speak out Online – There is perhaps no better way to reach so many people on a shoestring budget. With a global audience, participating in the discussion online can cause ripple effects for years to come. Start a blog (zero to little cost) and get writing. Find some popular blogs of writers you disagree with, and present a dissenting point of view. There are always two sides to an argument (at a minimum) so get in there and present your view.
You don’t need to try to tackle each of the above ideas. Pick one or two and start there. Now that you have some ideas, it’s up to you – get involved or stay complacent. The choice is yours. I am sure you are thinking that you are too busy with your own life and activities to get involved. Too bad because chances are you are caught up in the all-American, capitalist rat-race. Here are some thoughts that may help you put things into a larger perspective.
The Paradox of our Time By Dr. Bob Moorehead
I found this interesting essay on line that comes from a preacher. Some of the most insightful and inspiring words I have heard. Love the humor and rhythm. Would make an excellent song.
- The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
- We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
- We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;
- We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
- We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
- We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
- We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
- We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
- We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
- We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.
- We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
- We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
- We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
- We write more, but learn less.
- We plan more, but accomplish less.
- We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
- We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.
- These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
- These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
- These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
- These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.