Thursday, October 22, 2009

Find a Cause and Get Involved!

Too many people accept the status quo and say thank you and then complain as opposed to getting off their keesters and doing something about it. Being a baby boomer I know that movements of the 60s and 70s did bring change.

Last weekend I attended the second memorial service for a person that I was proud to know and be friends with. There were so many local dignitaries in attendance that I commented to an aide from a Congressman’s office that this is as close to royalty as I’ll get.

What made this person so loved and respected? It wasn’t wealth; she was comfortable but cautious with her spending. It wasn’t what we would call fame; she had published a number of cookbooks but that wasn’t why people paid their respects.

She was a person who simply cared about her community, whether it be her street, city or her country. She was an involved person! Some might even call her an activist or community organizer. She wanted the world to be a better place and she did her share.

I look back at the last 40 years or so and realize that America now is much different than it was then. Or is it? We were involved in an unpopular war then and now, well we have been in Iraq and Afghanistan for 8 years which is longer than we were involved in Viet Nam. What we don’t have today is the sense of outrage that was more pronounced in the sixties and seventies. There have been major improvements in Civil Rights and yet it seems that we will always have a group that is discriminated against. Poverty is perhaps less pronounced but affecting more people. Spending on social programs and defense programs were large then and they are enormous now.

There is a distinct lack of public outrage now as compared to then. Perhaps the internet has provided a forum for people to voice displeasure but I haven’t heard the news anchors discussing web traffic too much.

My friend demonstrated commitment to concerns four decades ago though becoming a leader in the community for the causes she believed in. She would volunteer realizing that no job too insignificant for something that was needed; something that should be changed. She supported politicians who were Democrats but admired those who supported the other party for that meant that people cared. She organized fund raisers and open houses where political leaders could come and meet with constituents.

She was from New York City who moved to the suburbs in the 50’s. She became a supporter of Open Spaces in an urban setting. When she said that green was among her favorite colors it signaled the green of grass, not money; blue referred to the skies. She wanted a nice environment for all.

She would work tirelessly for causes she supported and that seems something that today’s people are shying away from. It truly is sad because while I was listening to the accolades being presented I could only think of a voice saying “Don’t ask why but ask why not?” and knew that social progress is seldom achieved when the status quo is revered.

1 comment:

Financial Planning said...

Nice article, I just want to say that you have mentioned a very good point in your post, that What made this person so loved and respected, i will say that its the attitude and behavior of a person that makes him loved and respected.
Nice thoughts...