Ongoing efforts to make needed changes eventually bring results
The Legislative Conference presenters reminded us of the need to be “smart,” rather than playing political games and twisting words to confuse the people—that’s “we the people,” who are the government.
The hate-the-government rhetoric we have endured for too many years has not improved our ability to think, care or connect ideas. Certainly, we each have aspects of government spending and policy with which we disagree, so we make our voices heard. These days, however, the government is held hostage by a minority who have wrested power by requiring two-thirds votes that thwart rule of the majority.
We need to engage with people who are vulnerable to understand their needs, wants, hopes and ideas. We also need to develop relationships with those in power, so we understand their needs and interests.
As in any communication, knowing someone’s context helps us “translate” their visions, hopes and ideas so they can be understood and incorporated by those who make decisions and write laws.
I was grateful that presenters at the conference pushed us beyond the usual bill numbers and advocacy actions needed, so we could see issues and actions in light of our faith and values. I appreciated taking the long look at what has been accomplished and an awareness that people of faith in a democracy have a responsibility to participate in dialogue and promote their ideas as an ongoing responsibility for the long haul.
We also have responsibility to bring along next generations to understand the democratic process and to work for charity, justice, peace and stewardship of creation. With all the talk of the need for students to read and write, and to focus on math and science to compete with the rest of the world, we must never forget the need to learn about history and government, so we do can maintain our democratic responsibility in the sea of media geared to entertain, divert and even numb us to the realities around us.
Do we dare hope? Yes, knowing we are not alone—be it that we are in organizations that share our efforts or be it that we stand in a line or heritage of people taking risks and acting—we can persevere to raise challenges that seem lonely, and we can spread the word to others and keep people informed so they act.
Perseverance is at the heart of democratic responsibility, and it requires faith.
Mary Stamp - Editor
Copyright © March 2013 - The Fig Tree