Friday, May 27, 2011

Ideas For System Reform: Part 6 - end of series

Where do You and I fit into this equation of reform?
Let me start with where we Do Not fit...
  1. at home on the couch. I know, it is your American right to come home after a long day and "relax". But let me ask you a question, isn't your time worth MORE? What has television done to improve your life? Or your skills?
  2. on the computer. Except for a few examples where people make lasting connections for life, how has you life improved by surfing the internet or playing games daily? Are your relationships in life better for that extra time being plugged-in?
  3. at the bar. Sure, wonderful friends who get together daily to search the deep meaning of life in vast quantities of alcohol.

And here is the reason I ask... is our life so much the better for the shows we watch, the articles we read, the websites we visit, and the tavern bill we pay, that one year from now we will be able to recall something significant? Or to put it another way, one year ago - was there a show, or website, or night at the bar thas was so extra-ordinary that you can recall with clarity what it felt like - even now? Anything??


Give.     Advocate.     Volunteer.

If you have been with me for long here, then you know I propose activity versus complacencey.
Complacency defined as: especially pleased with oneself or one's merits, advantages, situation; apathetic, self-righteous, unconcerned.
How does one keep from being "unconcerned"? How about - involved?
Involved defined as: committed or engaged; concerned in some affair.
So where Do you and I fit? Well, one year from now I want to be able to look back and say: "I did something about... ANYTHING!"
  • I gave money to help the children of prisoners at
  • I wrote letters to provide hope to the incarerated.
  • I helped influence smart spending through Justice Reinvestment in our state-legislature at
  • I fed and clothed the homeless, those with no means of support for themselves.
  • I volunteered to help ex-prisoners by tutoring them for their G.E.D. at
  • Or even... I coordinated with county officials to teach computer skills (or any skill) to a newly released offender so they can find a job.

These stories will be mine to share. That one week, or once a month for a year, I made a difference. I can tell the story to my children. I can teach them the value of helping others. And those memories will stay with us both longer than ANY show we watch. To see someone's eyes light up when you walk through the door to visit them, especially when you didn't have to. To encourage them to grow and share in their triumphs. Those feelings can be captured in few other ways.

“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” James 2:15-16 (NIV)

When I asked before: "Isn't Your time worth more?" I like to think the answer for me is clear... my value doubles when I invest in another human.

"Thoughtful living is a tremendous opportunity with eternal implications. Lack of thought is one simple reason why thousands of souls are cast away forever. Men who will not consider, will not look forward, will not reflect on the end of their present course, and the sure consequences of their present ways, and awake at last to find they are damned for lack of thinking." - author unknown


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