I had an enlightening exchange with someone I highly respect. He and I usually have very different views on politics. Perhaps our discussion will help provide some insight on how differently conservatives and liberals view things.
Th conversation began when he asked me to post a topic on the Critical Thinking in the Real World Facebook discussion page, from The New York Times article, “In Superrich, Clues to What Might Be in Romney’s Returns” by James B. Stewart.
My friend and many others find this piece so very disheartening because they see it as a reflection on where society is going as a whole. It is indeed depressing to consider a world where each person is only out for his or her best interests to the detriment of everyone else. I also find it sad when members of society (those who are extremely rich as well as those with any means at all) choose not to contribute to society. But, and here’s a big difference, I don’t see this article reflecting the behavior of the majority of Americans.
I see examples of people’s generosity with their time, talents, resources and money locally and nationally. That is what I choose to focus on and I believe that is what fuels my optimism. We do not need to wait and we shouldn’t wait to make a difference. Consider what you can do today to have an immediate and long lasting positive impact. Could you donate to a local food pantry? Even a few jars of peanut butter, back to school supplies, gently used clothing, toys and books will have a big impact on a local homeless shelter or charity. Could you help an elderly neighbor by driving him or her to a doctor’s appointment? Would your children be willing to donate some of their latest art projects to a local nursing home or hospital?
There is great need for help all around us and we can make a difference.
Service should be a personal commitment. Government projects can be effective as well. We don’t have to wait for government programs or fair tax codes to make a significant positive impact, however. What can you do today to make things better?