Thank you for returning to Common Sense Civics and Citizenship’s weekly newsletter. I hope you find today’s articles helpful. In one of the articles, we take a look at the way Americans are communicating. We are arguing to destroy each other rather than win converts. I’ve been reading a modern version of The Federalist Papers. There, I discovered yesteryear’s media giants-three founders collectively called “Publius.” They knew how to win people over to their cause, that is, ratification of the U.S. Constitution. We can learn from them.
I often get asked the question, “What can we do? Our country is going downhill fast.” We can’t do everything, but we can do something… In fact, 85 things, as suggested by Joy Pullman (link and bibliography are below). Let’s begin with our first article.
We Can’t Do Everything, But We Can Do Something
So many Americans feel like the country is moving too fast, and they want to do something to either slow the progression down or reverse course altogether. There’s an article that made quite a splash this past week, and it addresses this issue. It’s worth our time to consider the “85 Things You Can Do To Help The United States Shake Wide Awake,” written by Joy Pullmann in The Federalist. Fret not. I won’t go through all eighty-five suggestions. The link is posted below, in case you do. I hope you will. (Please, no additional links or pictures in the comments).
I’ve read through the list at least four times. I didn’t understand how some of these suggestions had anything to do with waking up our Republic or stopping the fast slide toward cultural, economic, and national drift. I tend to focus on things like “run for office.” I mean, how could dressing more modestly or wearing a dress have anything to do with civics and citizenship? Ahhh, but now I “get” it. It’s about rebuilding a nation and the ties that bind us together, not divide us irreparably. It’s about reviving our country. Let’s look at a few of the suggestions. The list is numbered, so I’ll refer to those numbers. My comments are in parentheses.
#5, 6, 7 suggest shopping local, eating meals at home more often, even growing some of your own food. (Shopping local supports our neighbors, eating locally grown food is healthier, and eating at home promotes family time. All of these help to build healthy communities and nations. I shop locally and avoid things made in Ch-eye-na when I can).
#13 talks about requesting the local school curriculum and posting your findings in an online neighborhood group. (Your neighbors with and without school-age children can “get up to speed” about what is being taught in the schools we pay for. I think this is an excellent idea, btw).
#21-22 suggest volunteering. (If you have never volunteered, you don’t know the personal blessings and benefits, not to mention the people you will help. You will enlarge your network of people, learn new skills, help repair instead of tearing the fabric of our nation, and maybe see more goodness in people than you thought ever existed).
#16, 17, 18, 19 propose going to church. (Our Founders repeatedly said that we can’t maintain liberty unless we are also a moral nation. Forget “all of the hypocrites there.” Hypocrites are everywhere, not just at church. Go instead to connect with your spiritual side, to reflect, to rest from your labor. Let your focus be on a relationship with God, not on man-made religious rules. If you don’t like the church, try another church).
#23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 77 talks about hospitality and neighborliness, seeing the need and meeting it if you can. (So, I had a women’s gathering at my house. I’m no chef. Instead, I served two kinds of iced tea that I brewed on a Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Used nice glassware and had flowers on the table. Everybody loved it. Simple. Effective. Good and focused conversation. They also suggest men having other men over to share their interests and build friendships outside of work).
#34,36,46 encourage us to be money-wise with practical suggestions. (When you are disciplined with money, it flows over into other areas of life. Living paycheck to paycheck always has anxiety underneath, and it takes away from the joy of living. It’s never too late to start somewhere. Most of us have been there at one time or another. I sure was at one time).
#67-68 urge us to read the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. (Yes!!!!)
The article closes by reminding us that we don’t need a majority to change the nation. What an encouragement to know that we don’t have to re-invent the wheel! We need encouragement to go back to the basics of our American heritage and do what we can. Here’s the link:
p.s. As a start, I bought a new dress 🙂
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