Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~ M. Mead
Perhaps the whole getting older thing has caught up with me. Perhaps it is the times. Perhaps it is the conversations I keep hearing and the early education I got by going to protest marches or having discussions around the dinner table about the importance of getting involved has finally all caught up with me. As a wellness coach, and one who is specifically spending time looking at retirement issues, it is striking how many people think, ‘someone else’ is going to do ‘something’…and the topic matter isn’t the issue.
As I write this there are people in Flint who can’t use the water coming out of their taps and must rely on bottled water to live in their homes. How did this come to light? Local residents started to go to officials and ‘complain’ that the water was discolored and making their families sick. An early hero was the Flint Public Library who started to bring in water for their staff and residents. We all know this issue is now a national political issue. Has it been resolved? Not yet but its on the map.
Many years ago, if there was a member of your family who was in some way challenged or different ~ perhaps they were confined to a wheelchair and needed full time care or were what is now called ‘on the spectrum’ ~ there were few choices for where and how they lived out their lives. Likely choices were a variation on stay at home or with siblings as everyone got older and then a nursing home. Until families got together and started to build, themselves, group homes. These early families organized, came up with the financial structures, created from scratch the models we use today so that everyone, regardless of their physical or emotional limitations, can live out the most fulfilling live possible if they and their families so choose.
Drunk driving is a major problem that only recently got attention. And by recent I mean 37 years ago! Do you recall a time when it wasn’t considered worthy of too much time or attention? If you’re too young to remember then I’m here to assure you there was a time when, if you happened to be stopped by the police and were close to home they’d likely drive you home themselves or admonish you to get home “safely.” And then another 13 year old girl was killed by a drunk driver. This mother formed Mothers Against Drunk Drivers in 1980 and now there are laws, devices, legal consequences and awareness about the impact of drinking and driving.
Change takes time, effort and persistence. All change. Changing a health habit, getting ready for retirement, having your voice heard on a larger stage all require commitment. I know you’ve got what it takes to stand up, do what you either need to do or feel mandated to do and get it done. Be that “thoughtful, committed citizen” Margaret Mead knew you could be.
Best for your week ahead!