People are wingeing all over my Facebook feed about this carrot-hybrid we elected to be president.
Well, get used to it. I’m pretty sure the president-elect hasn’t friended you, or if he has, he’s not reading your posts, except to amuse himself at your futile flailings and puny ambitions.
I know you’re high-minded (or maybe just high), but if you want to effect a change, it’s more effective on a local scale than to rant about what’s happening in the halls of the national government.
So volunteer. There are hundreds of local organizations where your efforts can make a real, sometimes life-or-death, difference in people’s lives.
Or maybe volunteering in an organization looks too much like a regular job to you. There are other ways you can contribute to your community. Help you neighbors paint their house, or take out their trash, or start a garden. Help that little old lady lift her suitcase onto the conveyor belt at Customs. Bake some cookies, or a loaf of bread, and share.
A small kindness can make a difference in someone’s day.
And vote. And encourage your friends and neighbors to vote, too. Get involved in the local election process.
But if you’re going to vote, for God’s sake exercise some critical thinking skills. Don’t just accept what our “leaders” are telling you.
Ask, for instance, how a downtown arena is going to create an economic renaissance in El Paso. Lots of towns have arenas. Lots of those towns with arenas have arenas downtown. Why would a company choose to locate in El Paso just because we have a downtown arena? How would a downtown arena make El Paso more attractive for a company looking to relocate than a city like San Diego, for instance?
Publicly traded companies have an obligation to their stockholders to maximize profits. Privately owned companies are usually likewise motivated, or they fail. The existence of an arena is way down the list of considerations when companies choose to relocate.
Critical thinking skills are not just important in the voting booth. They come in handy in your private life, as well. You should try it sometime.
And try to remember that life isn’t all about a paycheck. Check out this story from TheDay.com.
“The conversation that we need to initiate in the schools and the colleges and the religious institutions is what it means to live the good life.”
. . .
“Defining humankind as consumers belittles our dignity as human beings,” he told me. “We are made in God’s image to share in the ongoing work of creation: living in faith, building, trusting God for the gifts that make for life and the renewal of life.”
You don’t have to be religious to recognize that riding the elevator up to your cubicle every day is not how you should live your life.
All you need is a little critical thinking.