I’m on a soapbox, and you should be too

Yesterday I was busy Being A Capital-A American. I paid my Taxes and I attended Town Meeting and then when that was all over, I patronized my local Pub and drank Beer with My Mom. And I have to say, after all the presidential campaigning I endured on Facebook for the past year, I was very disappointed to see few people within ten years of my age at Town Meeting.

I don’t even see it as an option. I vote. I attend Town Meetings. It’s what I do. And I just find it surprising that, for the number of people around my age who I listen to all the time discuss politics with passion and sometimes pride and often vitriol, there is very little interest on the local level.

I was so psyched to see someone I grew up with stand before the town. He and his wife are proposing to turn an unused school building into a community art space. They are working to enrich our community using the resources of the community with funds we voted two years ago to set aside for this sort of purpose.

Remember when Barack Obama was sworn into office and he spoke about working to improve our communities and in doing so, strengthening our country? And we all shouted YES? Where was that lost?

In working on the micro level, you cause a ripple effect toward the macro. In this time when we are all connected through cell signals and wires and bits and bytes, what each of us do in the privacy of our own computers travels through wires and over air and becomes part of a very powerful collective. You take a bunch of 1s and 0s, each with a particular job, and string them together, and you become a part of a global community.

When you buy local; when you plant a garden; when you use community preservation funds to open a theater; when you belt out an AYE from deep in your gut that mixes with the AYEs of your community to form one voice, you turn the micro into macro. You become a part of a living democracy.

So next year, go to Town Meeting. Bring someone with you. Turn one into two, and raise it to the tenth power. Because, with no voice, our generation is powerless.


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