“Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.”
– David Star Jordan
Even the dashboard for pulseonparenting.com is feeling it: the daily inspirational quote came from Star Jordan’s timely words. Timely, in that they were posted on MLK, Jr., Day, and timely, in that Friday is Inauguration Day.
Whether you look ahead to this always historic occasion with anticipation or with dread, I think about another of my favorite sayings.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Many who voted for our PEOTUS did so looking for change; many who did not want change as well. But change is scary. And unpredictable, with infinite permutations. It can be frustrating, stress-inducing and results may not be at all what we want for ourselves, our children or our community. To say we want change in its most basic form is an amorphous statement. We need to definite exactly what we want, because
We the people are the instruments of change.
It comes down to us, the humble citizens, the confused voters and nonvoters, and our kids, too. We can’t wait around for lawmakers and those with veto and signing power to provide us with positive change; they may not follow through or not be able to…this we see over and over again. So we must be the change we want to see in the world. Our own community is rising to the challenge. The local citizens’ alliance is hosting an event called “Our 1st 100 Days Kick Off!” to help people connect with organizations that do good. What a great idea this is. Someone (20 hardworking volunteers to be exact) realizes that we all do better if we all do better and how is that accomplished? We roll up our sleeves and get to work. So if we don’t feel our elected officials will do well by the people they represent, then, by George Washington, we will do it ourselves.
If anything comes out if this turbulent election, and the next four years, let’s hope this is it. A grassroots movement to improve our country at the hands of those who have the right to make it truly great. Us. We the people.
And this is why I look forward to January the 20th at high noon. My kids and I plan to watch the inauguration. I want them to hear the words the PEOTUS must echo back to the chief justice in front of the nation and the rest world, the gravity of the”solemnly swears.” I want them to understand that the oath is a promise to the citizens of our country, one that can be upheld or broken. But that this position is on loan, as it is greater than any individual person, as it belongs to the every person who calls him- or herself American and must be executed with humility, critical thought and servitude. It’s not a job for the faint of heart or the overinflated ego.
And neither is making our individual voices heard. But we must, with the same humility, consideration and desire to serve. We need to be leaders in our own right, for our communities, and for our children…with our communities and with our children. As this is the first presidency my kids will remember from beginning to end, we have a great opportunity to evaluate together whether the President is making due on his promise and use our determinations to make a real impact. We can start by finding a local cause to support, giving of ourselves and being that change we want to see. What better tools to arm our children with than to show them what our freedom in this country truly allows us to do?
And we can flood our state senators and representatives’ offices with our concerns as well. (Our kids can write letters and pen emails, too.) Here’s a quick link to a site that will provide you with the contact information for yours. Just enter your zip code and bam, phone numbers and mailing addresses:
Protest is whining’s older sibling.
Action is the matriarch of both.