Monday, June 8, 2009

An Expansion of a Thought

I, in my time waiting to start this new job, have begun or continued reading several books which have called to me to read. This may sound a bit strange as it goes against that sage advice of not judging a book by its cover, but many times, when deciding what I should read next I tend to simply peruse the titles and select the one or two which seem to say “pick me.”

In this, I have just recently completed the first of a series and started the second: Tarnsman of Gor and Outlaw of Gor. The series, written by John Norman, follows a sci-fi/fantasy type scenario of a Counter Earth, and upon starting the second book, a quote struck me:

“'This is a great city,' said Cabot, 'and yet it is not loved.'How many are

there here who would die for this city? How many who would defend to the

death its perimeters? How many who would submit to torture on its behalf?'

…'This city is not loved,' he said. 'Or it would not be used as it is, kept

as it is.'”

After reading this passage, I paused and began thinking back on the history of the world when a city would be under attack, the men (and many times the women and children too) would take up arms to protect their city no matter the size or status it may have. Even a small village held the greatest importance to those who called that place home.

Now, especially in the United States, the city’s own people degrade and abuse the very city which they call home. No one has pride or care for their home city and perhaps this is due partly to the lack of influence many people feel they have.

I have argued, on more than one occasion, that if we, as citizens of a city, state, and country, seek change in anything then it is we who have to voice our opinion and in the manner which makes a difference. It cannot simply be that we vote for a presidential candidate every four years or even for our Senators and Representatives. For change to truly begin, you must discover the date and times of town hall meetings. Start there and attend. Voice your opinion, but if you open your mouth, speak with an informed voice.

Although it means a bit more work on your part, obtain the topics to be discussed, and perform a bit of research on whatever topic(s) interests you. Do your homework so that in the meeting you can back your opinion with valid facts. This is the real forum of change. Take interest in your home and it will pay back with dividends.

Care that your city wishes to charge business owners for graffiti on the businesses’ walls because that will affect you in rising costs in merchandise or services rendered. Show interest in area events so that the city mayor and aldermen will notice what events attract more of a following. There are staff members which track the numbers of pretty much every city-sponsored event so if you enjoyed something, say so! A quick letter will show the city officials that you care and are aware of their actions.

Call me silly, old-fashioned, or just overly optimistic, but I still believe that the common citizen can make a difference, if only at home. And if only at home, that difference will hopefully inspire other "everyday" citizens to make changes in their small area of impact. See where this could lead? Over time, more and more changes would take place and hopefully, once again, the government would respond more timely to its citizens and care more about them than lobbyists or "big business."

Lastly, remember Shawshank's Andy and his letters? It took two letters a week for years before that prison even got an expanded library! So, yes, there is a recession; yes, it will take a lot of work to change the status quo; yes, it will be slow going. All that should mean though, is that if it means something to You, then You better start sending those letters now!


Anonymous said...

This post has no boobs. Dude I thought we talked about this.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with J on this matter. I am very disappointed in the lack of boobs and still no midgets.