“Call to Action!”
When those three words pop up in an email or a Facebook post, I am ready to devour the message and see what I can do. Taking action means I am doing something positive to help reduce or erase a problem or situation. Taking action means I am not helpless or powerless.
Last weekend, I got up from my computer and took action, marching with Inaugurate Compassion, a group that was organized and galvanized on Facebook. Our march was a “Peaceful action of compassionate solidarity with the causes and communities under duress in the emerging political climate.”
It took place in downtown Bakersfield from a parking lot on L Street to the Liberty Bell in front of the courthouse. Approximately two hundred folks took part, all of us concerned about the welfare of our community and the impending forecast for the direction our nation is heading. Because of the solidarity shown and the speeches by spokespersons of compassionate community organizations, my heart was lightened and my spirits buoyed. I’d become filled with ideas of additional ways to take action.
Sometimes we forget it is still our country. WE, the people. As last Saturday’s rally crowd chanted, “The people, united, can never be divided.” We’ve believed that before. That’s how we got to be the United States of America.
It’s still true today. Activists, patriots, have never forgotten this even though many of the rest of us got comfy and sat back, rested on our own laurels and enjoyed the privileges others fought for on the front lines. I sure did.
Taking action is a good thing, an invigorating thing. We feel less helpless if we can DO something. So much is happening in our country and world we can’t sit still and complain or stick our heads in the sand. It’s our job as citizens to act.
What can I do, you ask? Help out with seniors, foster youth, homeless people, or your family members who may be struggling. Support businesses and products that reflect your values. Resist tyranny, the unrestrained exercise or abuse of power. Call and write your government representatives and officials -- local, state, and national –- and tell them what you, their constituent, want them to do. Voice your opinion in letters to the editor of your newspaper. Be a good neighbor.
Get involved in your neighborhood school. Your kids are grown or don’t live in your city? No matter; you will be living in the society run by those kids who are now in school. It’s in your best interest to help insure their academic success. Volunteer to read with kids, tutor in math, or share your life experience in a classroom.
Many things are out of our control. But we do have control over what we will do to help preserve our democracy and make our country and world places where every person has a chance to live and thrive.
“It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen.” Barack Obama, in his farewell address to the American people, January 10, 2017.
~ xoA ~