In these troubled times, when we all seem so divided, what is a conscientious citizen to do? Will stopping traffic on the interstate stop the “Electoral College” from over-riding the popular democratic vote? Will writing my congressional representative or protesting change things?
What should I do? What CAN I do? Where (or how) can I make a meaningful contribution to society, where can I help implement positive social change? How can I support and increase local democracy, state democracy, national and (as desired) international democracy?
Perhaps more importantly, how do I manifest and maintain responsible personal government, before I look for good government outside myself? How do I make myself an educated, I intelligent, and compassionate voter and citizen, before I look to others to be so?
How do I create positive change in myself and my community, while engaging myself in stewardship of the things I love most? How do I get involved in a way that unites us all, instead of dividing us?
These are questions I have been asking myself during the election and continue to ask myself. I find it incumbent on me (but not necessarily others) as a good citizen.
For me, few activities fulfill these requirements. Yet it is critically important to me to fill my precious 86,400 seconds per day (if lucky) with as much service and stewardship as possible.
I have spent plenty of time trying to (or allowing to) improve myself, or in basely seeking pleasure or looking out for my own welfare. I have long experienced that real meaning is possible only in service to others. I have marveled how once I place my compassionate attention beyond the boundaries of my own nose, my perceived pain and suffering decreases and my perceived happiness increases, especially if that attention is focused toward helping or supporting others.
I find to the degree I focus on things that unite us, I am happy and productive of the general Good, and as I focus on things that divide us, I am less so.
Of course, there are times one must differ from the majority (in support to personal ideals promoting peace, goodwill, fellowship and fairness to all, if necessary. That can often be done by peacefully holding my own space and beliefs/conclusions, while honoring the right of others to hold differing ones. I can do that while openly trying to understand the viewpoint and needs of those ostensibly opposed to my own.
I can still do that while focusing on what unites us, and spending my time on service and activities that help us all.
Bow I do that will be part two of this blog (written once the sun goes down). For now, there is one critical wildlife habitat I need to concern myself with, only a few last precious seconds to pick up trash before it sets behind the mountains There is only one Now, and I must go I into it, in service, stewardship, good will to all.
A smile and some service is a potent remedy to what ails us.