Sometimes the political discourse in our country gets heated and even a bit malicious. Beyond the pundits who want to get good ratings, it is primarily because citizens care about this country’s future. Whether on the left of the aisle or right, I respect people who care enough to have an opinion and to willingly express it. The ongoing debate about our country’s future is critical. Having the debate, forming opinions, creating policies to solve issues and voting on them are the democratic principles our country was founded on and continues to flourish with.So many people say, “big business runs this country,” or “it’s the ploiticians who run our country” But the fact is – it’s just not true.
Bringing Gun Violence to the National Debate
For example, take “gun violence” as a topic. People are up in arms over the increased violence in schools. Yes, too many families have suffered since the first mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. It has been 13 years of brutality and murder by young males who feel, isolated, alienated and who are perhaps mentally unstable.
After each massacre the public responds with inreased debate about the gun laws and possible suggestions for remediating what feels like an epidemic. But it wasn’t until the horrific events at a grammar school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut a month ago when 26 first-graders were desimmated by automatic military style weapons that the debate got elevated. And now the ground swell fueled by citizen’s has made it’s way to the Vice President and just a little while ago to the President who spoke aobut enacting some of the toughest gun laws in decades.
But here’s the thing that makes the biggest difference–each citizen is personably reponsible for themselves and the future of our society. Together we make the difference. I never personally understood this until 6 years ago when my personal life experiences butted up against and burst my narcissistic bubble and awoke my consciousness to the bigger picture.
And that’s when I stopped complaining and nay saying and decided to join the conversation and perhaps, in some small way, contribute towards making our community, and country a better place. I couldn’t listen to myself for 1 more minute bitching and moaning about the war in Iraq, the sour economy, a deteriorating public education system and many other issues that resonated so deeply to me.
That’s when I decided to get to work, to stop talking and start doing. Volunteering my time to help make change has probably been one of my proudest and most gratifying accomplishments (next to raising my children and my 27 years of marital bliss). The movement is huge. There are thousands of Americans out working for the greater good. Citizens who are educated and care- care about the greater good and I feel so fortunate to work amongst them.
Next Monday, I will be honored to count myself amongst the 15,000 volunteers that assist on site at the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington DC. I was in Washington DC yesterday for a day of training and received a very high level of clearance by the Secret Service. So my role is to be a “parade host.” I will be walking along side one of the parade bands or floats right behind the President and First Lady when they walk from the Capital to the White House. My job is to ensure the unit is keeping up, following the route and to answer any questions that may arise. The pessimists can think what they want. And, yes it is a very, very small contribution. However, multiply it by 15,000 and that’s how it goes from being one person with one voice to a full scale movement.