Do your part to make government and non-governmental issues work for you.
Fairly often on these forums I have read some people here complain about how government does nothing for us. I think it's important to address this issue. Regard the U.S., Abraham Lincoln talked about "Government of the people, by the people, for the people". By the people is our responsibility. This means that if we want government to work for us, we need to participate.
Here is a small example of how that works:
I live in a dangerous fire-hazard portion of the Western Slope foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Last year, one of our towns to the north essentially burned to the ground. There is now a lot of concern about fire hazard in these hills. I have attended a few local Fire Safety Council meetings this year and have heard a number of people rail against the government because "they aren't doing what they should to protect us." A few weeks ago, rather than join in on the ranting, I made a few calls a wrote a few letter to our Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) regarding some road/fire safety issues in our neighborhood. This led to the Deputy Director of Road Maintenance coming out to meet with me to look at some of these issues. I was very respectful to the Deputy and thanked him for meeting with me. The end result is that some of these issues will be taken care of by the D.O.T. One of those issues is the removal of a large dead cedar right next to the roadway. I explained that if this cedar were to fall during a fire event, egress from the area for many folks would be blocked. I was informed that technically that tree is the responsibility of the land owner but (likely because of my tactful approach, as opposed to simply bitching) that tree will be removed by D.O.T. in due order. A few other issues on our road will also see repairs happen.
This is but one simple example of how personal action in areas that are government controlled can lead to results that make our lives better. I think one of the fundamental problems with government in the U.S. (and perhaps elsewhere) is people's unwillingness to be a part of the process. Look how many people fail to even vote!
Now please understand, I am NOT seeking kudos here. I simply want to encourage more people to take an active part in helping make our lives better by taking part in the process.
We can also do things to make life better outside of government. One of the things we have talked about in our area is getting neighborhood work-crews together to help clear up some of the tree and brush issues along the road that D.O.T. will not handle. Personal involvement is part of this process as well.
“In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
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