Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Oh, and while we're on the topic...

(This will make more sense if you read the previous post first.)

Oh, and on the topic of change being bullshit - it's bullshit because Obama can't do very much from the white house. Our president is a figurehead. He can veto bills from Congress, he can suggest things, but he can not singlehandedly change anything (probably including the White House light bulbs). This being the case, I don't know why we always fall into the trap of campaign promises only to look back at 4 years of a presidency with disappointment (or we simply forget the promises because we're busy fighting over the "issues"). If Obama gets enough support from the Congress and Supreme Court, then we may be in trouble... but even then, Obama can create change only if we allow it.

People seem to forget that we are in a democracy except once every 4 years. The supposed definition of democracy is: "a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly... or by their elected agents" ( Democracy is Rule By the People, For the People, and Of the People. This being the case, why do most of us have a bad case of "It's someone else's problem!"? Trash in the street? Someone else's problem, even if it's two steps from the can. Notice that your neighborhood civic center could use a fresh coat of paint? Someone else's problem. Schools in your city understaffed with overworked teachers? Someone else's problem! Other people's problems bother you all the time, but it's never -your- problem to fix, because the minute it becomes your problem, it also becomes your responsibility. Remember that quote: "With great power comes great responsibility." Yeah, that one. Well, if we're supposedly the ones in power in this great country, why aren't we taking responsibility for it?

I know I complain A LOT about the educational system, about food prices, about just about anything there is to complain about - I'm convinced it's human nature to complain, and if there's nothing to complain about we'll complain that things are too good to be true. But at the same time, a blog post by an acquaintance of mine made me remember that complaints won't get things done. Actions speak louder than the best campaign promises. So even though I didn't vote, I feel like I make more of a difference every day than some people have made in their entire lives.

I garden (as much as I can fit on a tiny, crowded balcony) for some of my own food. I help people when I can afford to (time to listen, money for good charities, volunteering to help out with projects, or just a smile on the street to someone who looks sad). I try to live a decent life and encourage those around me to do the same. I'm not perfect and I certainly could do better, but the point is that at least I try, for 365 days a year, every year, to be a good person, the kind of person I'd like to see running my country. And the way I see it, the best way to become proud of America is to live as an example for other Americans. So while a lot of people voted this fall, and wanted to see our new president (whoever he might be) bring Change to the White House, why don't we get busy now, and invest all that positive energy from the election into volunteering at our local schools, growing some veggies, making cookies for the neighbors, tutoring our children, fixing up our bicycles and doing our best to live good lives. Obama might make a good president (I have my doubts, but four years will tell), but he can not live our own lives for us, nor can he ever bring change to those who are unwilling to accept it.

Think on that for a while next time you get all excited about what someone else is doing for the world, and remember: to a lot of people out there, you could be that someone else.

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