We Are The Ones To Make A Better Place

The Michael Jackson funeral today included the song, “We Are the World.” It has a beautiful thought: We are the ones to make a better place.

It seems a lot of people want to make the world a better place, and have a lot of extra idealistic zeal and energy to direct somewhere. How can that energy be directed to make a better world is the question.

I’m stuck on the thought that we can make the world a better place by vitalizing our own democracy. I would imagine that if asked — “True or False: The stronger our democracy, the better our community will be?” — most people would say emphatically, “True.” It’s a question, I believe, that should be asked a lot, a question that should be emphasized in our media.

As it is, we are in the grips of this reality: The weaker our democracy has become the worse our country has become. We have a big problem in our country, not a Republican Party problem, not a Democratic Party problem. We have general system problem. Our system of democracy is simply not working. This fact should be a concern to everyone who is paying attention. This fact should be setting off warning bells, in Dennis Kucinich’s words: “Wake up, America. Wake up, America.”

But, how do we wake up, how do we make our democracy stronger? The problem is, it takes community to make democracy stronger. The stronger the democracy, the better the community. But, the catch is, you can’t have democracy without community. Community must come first. Before Roberts Rules of Order can be applied, there must be an authentic community that cares whether Robert’s Rules are applied or not, a community dedicated to democracy, dedicated to giving voice to all of its members. There must be a community whose members have shared aims.

Kettering, where I live, is scheduled to elect three board members this November. On its face, these elections seem like an action of democracy, an action of “local control” of Kettering’s public education. But, if, as in past school board elections, these board elections are not connected to authentic community in Kettering, these elections will continue to demonstrate the actions of a weak democracy, not a strong democracy. If the past is any indication, even in this most grassroots of elections, the great majority of voters going to the polls this November in Kettering will not know much about the candidates, nor the issues.

So, to make the world a better place, there is no place like home to start. For me, that’s Kettering, Ohio. The question is how can the excess “let’s make the world a better place” zeal that resides in Kettering be directed to grassroots purpose? Leadership is needed and I’m contemplating the ways that DaytonOS can provide leadership and the ways that the internet can be applied here in Kettering to build community and build democracy. I’m revising my plans, and I’m moving too slow on my 200 hour commitment. The time is right. More and more people are convinced: We are the world. We are the ones to make a better place.

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One Response to We Are The Ones To Make A Better Place

  1. jennifer b says:

    that performance was truely inspring

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