Today is the 50th annniversary of the March On Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s. “I have a dream” speech.
Much will be written today about the progress we’ve made or we haven’t made. Sadly, rather than reflecting on the words of Dr. King, most of our news cycle in the last week has been dominated by Ben Affleck as Batman, and the twerking disaster of Miley Cyrus.
The message of Dr. King still rings true today. Let’s make this world a better place.
For more than 30 years, I’ve attempted to do that through politics and public policy. More often than not these days, I realize that politics and government will never make this world a better place.
When our leaders are bickering and partisan, when we return or consider returning politicians like Mark Sanford and Anthony Weiner to office. When our own beloved Commonwealth is plagued with scandals and poised to elect the man who wrote the book on political hustling (no, he really did), then I no longer have faith in the public policy process. Perhaps I was a fool to think for so long we could make actual change for the better.
Instead, I’ve come to realize that my task is to make the world around me a better place. To do what I can in my own realm of influence. Maybe that’s a little public policy. More than likely it’s community involvement, like supporting my church, supporting the arts, supporting great causes.
In my quest to turn this into a full time writing career, I follow several experts in the field, including Chris Brogan and Seth Godin. Chris and Seth have both been talking a lot about helping others. Seth wrote this week:
We can choose to “give back,” or we can choose to give…”What can I contribute today,” might be the very best way to become part of a community. Relentless generosity brings us closer together.
That’s good stuff.
I can’t start a movement. But I can move me, and in the process move things around me.