Interventions Are Serious
Not sure how many of you have participated in an intervention. They’re usually an option of last resort, when reason, cajoling and pleading have failed. For those of you who cared enough to participate, I salute you. No matter the result. You cared enough, loved enough, risked enough to try to make a difference. You learned much about yourself and others in the process. I hope you were successful. At least you tried.
This Country needs an intervention. In fact, several. So, you and I will have many choices to consider. And if we care, we can’t opt out. Let’s care.
We’ve Marched, Resisted, Protested and Voted—Time To Consider the Next Steps…
This has been a wrenching three years of dysfunctional governance. The leadership vacuum in Washington has been so pronounced that its ripples are felt at many levels. There is much we can do at community and State levels to self-govern, but our interdependence is inescapable when these competence gaps are so extreme. The wasteful energy expended, reasonable governmental functions ignored, and tax monies wasted necessitate our paying better attention.
We’ve elected some diverse new political leadership at various levels, but they can’t have an impact without our support. And we should hope that rigid partisanship and tribalism can be eliminated or at least moderated so that effective governance can stand a better chance. We can step up our game and make a difference. We’ve got lots of choices. Let’s choose wisely.
Choose Your Issues, Choose Your Heroes, BE A HERO!
Choose An Issue…Depending on your community, opportunities might include education, healthcare, infrastructure, governance, immigration, social justice, environment, transportation, literacy, the arts, diversity, responsive media, open space, parks and pools, etc. Choose issues that resonate with you, your family, neighborhood, and employer. Consider what resources you bring to the table. Time, Experience, Financial Resources, Collaborative Possibilities, etc.
Choose A Hero…Choose someone in a leadership position whom you admire, and with whom you’d like to collaborate toward advancing their mission. A school principal, non-profit ED, government official (State, City Council, County Commissioner, Agency Head, etc.), faith-based leader, college/university administrators, non-profit umbrella groups like United Way. If you don’t have access to top leadership, meet their deputies, express your interest in assisting and in learning more about their mission.
Be A Hero…If you’re still moving up the learning curve, educate yourself in depth about your chosen issue/organization/program. Consider their menu of volunteer opportunities and commit to making a difference. All the better if your cumulative civic/life experience makes you ready for constructive engagement. Remember, you’re not seeking an easy volunteer placement. You’d like to make a significant difference. If you’re needing to ease into the challenge, ask for a special project or committee stint so you can mutually determine your degree of ability and interest. Don’t accept a Board position until you’re able and ready for that level of commitment.
Note: For example, we recently moved into a new part of town. After we got unpacked and reasonably settled in, I made an appointment with the neighborhood school Principal, met her and offered my assistance. I’m eager to see how I might use my cumulative community experience to benefit this school.
An Intervention Is Serious
Despite what we thought were our best efforts, too many of us missed the magnitude and direction of economic, education and cultural trends, enabling a bipartisan Congress to ignore our best interests and winding up with this dysfunctional governance whose incompetence we must reverse. These challenges permeate each of our communities and require mini-moonshot efforts to get us back on track, and make our children proud. A true civic intervention. More smarts, more energy, more commitment, more compassion, more heart, more creative thinking, more collaboration. More faith and trust in each other, more belief in the worthiness of invigorated community institutions. A Serious Civic Reset.
I’m disappointed in my Friend In The Mirror, and any role he might have played, by fault or default, in getting us into this mess. However, I’m more than compensated in hope, enthusiasm and encouragement as I see the many good folks, organizations and model programs that are already working to right this ship that should represent our Better Angels. We’ve ridden the roller coaster with our democratic experiment, been knocked down, humbled, but given another chance to learn from our mistakes and do what must be done. In so doing, we can inspire the young stewards of their future. Many of you are my role models for constructive involvement. And I’ve yet to meet many others of you who’ll be my heroes as we toil in these civic vineyards. Let’s do this! TOGETHER.