IT STARTS WITH HUMAN CONNECTION
I love this photo. It speaks to us on so many levels. We can’t have community without connection. Human connection. We open our minds and hearts and reach with the outstretched hands of welcome. We make new friends under many circumstances. We step outside our comfort zone to engage. Engagement builds trust and opens us to possibilities. That seems relatively simple, but social media isolation and recent trends of tribalism make it more difficult to effectuate broad-based civic engagement. That’s where we come in.
LET AMERICA BE AMERICA AGAIN…In The Healthy Sense
Noted American poet Langston Hughes gives us a timeless perspective of laudable values. We can’t have a “one size fits all” set of civic values, when most communities of any size boast a diversity of cultural expressions that beg careful attention and cultivation. This painful and thoughtful call to civic action reminds us of the complexity of constructive community building. We wince a bit at the truth, but we know in our hearts that we must rise to the occasion. As with many initiatives, it starts with our Friend in the Mirror.
A CLARION CALL FOR RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISTS TO HOLD POLITICOS ACCOUNTABLE…
We must have the checks and balances of responsible journalism to keep us informed, while holding our public servants to account. Texas Gov. Ann Richards and NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw were great examples of the occasional adversaries who were more often congenial allies in the pursuit of policies, truth and governance for the common good. And an informed citizenry.
It has been gratifying to see an awakening of responsible journalism, as diverse media struggle to balance investigative fact-finding with viable business models. The Texas Tribune now has an impressive 10-yr. record as an on-line, non-profit specialist in the coverage of Texas government and politics. They have the largest capitol press corps of any media group in Texas, and are a model for similar experiments nationwide.
WE’RE INCENTIVIZED. WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DROP OUR GUARD…
Effective Civic Engagement requires courage, compassion and commitment. Commitment of heart, mind, time, talent, communications skills and financial resources. A diversity of non-profits, civic groups, schools, faith-based organizations, etc. are a great place to start.
The current election campaign efforts give us each a great opportunity to weigh issues, platforms and opportunities for constructive change. And they also remind us of those issues of most importance to us, our families and communities. That’s where we can orient our civic energies. To those areas where our concern and passion complement critical community needs. A good time to apply the Mosey Principles…”Slow Down, Pay Attention, Be Informed, Act Accordingly.” I look forward to joining you. We’ll all win in the process.