Thursday, September 04, 2008
pol�i�tick�ing (noun) activity undertaken for political reasons or ends, as campaigning for votes before an election, making speeches, etc., or otherwise promoting oneself or one's policies.The Obama campaign is complaining that Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin attacked and insulted �ordinary people� last night by mocking Obama�s job as a �Community Organizer.�
Uh, no. Ordinary people volunteer. We see a need, join hands with others, and organize ourselves to get the work done. From PTAs to open source software, book clubs to care packages for soldiers, overseas tsunami aid to sports leagues, Americans collectively are the most generous volunteers of any country in the world. Tocqueville�s Democracy in America highlighted that volunteer spirit more than 150 years ago, and our volunteer spirit is still with us today.
Taking a paid job called �Community Organizer� is just another way to say �pay me for politicking.�
Community Organizers now have organized a website to demand an apology from Govenror Palin. But this is how the Community Organizers describe themselves:
Though many people are unfamiliar with community organizing, the job is both straightforward and vital: community organizers work with families who are struggling�because of low wages, poor health coverage, unaffordable housing, and other community problems�so that collectively, they can fix those problems and make government respond to their day-to-day concerns. Organizers knock on doors, attend community meetings, visit churches and synagogues and mosques, and work with unions and civic groups and block associations to help ordinary people build power and counter the influence of self-interested insiders and highly paid lobbyists at all levels of government.Translation: "Pay me for politicking."
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Next year, I will get in front of this project so more of us can participate and contribute.
Thank you to all the veterans and those who laid the wreaths. We must always remember the real heroes of our freedoms - those who fight and those who lost their lives so we can live as peacefully as we do and extend this peace to others for whom safety like ours is only a dream.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Awards were given to 43 people who had done something out of the ordinary, reached out to others or saved a life because of their calm thinking. Honorees included:
A four-year-old boy who saved his mother's life after she had a diabetic attack; he called 911 and forced her to eat Reese Peanut Butter cups to stabilize her sugar.
An 11 year old whose mother collapsed; he called 911 and then got his younger brother and sister into another room, loaded a DVD, told them to stay there; returned to his mom until paramedics arrived. (Both moms are fine.)
A high school girl who launched a drive for prom dresses for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Lakeville police who raised $50,000 for Special Olympics by jumping into a frozen Lake in January.
Multiple small groups that had fairs, benefit dinners, and other fetes to help families defray large medical expenses.
One woman donated a kidney to a complete stranger. Another child offered her hair to Locks of Love.
Another child has collected pop tops for the Ronald McDonald House.
A senior citizen reads to school children weekly.
Yes, I got an award for my four plus years of shipments to American soldiers in Iraq.
This giving attitude followed with actions is rare, period. In too many places on the planet, the government is the main source of help, not individual citizens. In 2006, a friend of mine had a young adult nephew from Norway visit him. They went to the Science Museum in St. Paul, a place staffed with many volunteers. His nephew asked what a "volunteer" was. My friend explained. The nephew replied, "Oh, we don't do that in Norway, the government takes care of all this." If we let our government take over too much of our society, we too will lose contact with our neighbor; we will lose the incentive and eventually the ability to help friends and strangers in need.
We need to remember: Part of what makes America exceptional are people like these honored tonight. It's these big and little actions that count. Our kind of thinking, generosity, just "do it" attitude is NOT universal but it IS American.