Once the primary force behind a strong economy, the American middle class has been devastated by the economic aberrations and distortions of recent decades. Those with least resources have suffered most.
Living from paycheck to paycheck, with no savings and harnessed to debt, most are ill-prepared for retirement. It is difficult for Americans to envision a meaningful future under such conditions.
Clearly, it is time for ordinary Americans to pull ourselves together to reassert the self-reliance once venerated in our national character, and to unite around a course of action that affirms a self-respect and a self-confidence that no hardship can shake.
Hopelessness breeds helplessness, and neither is acceptable.
How can this happen? The starting place to regain the American spirit is in our local communities. Here we have a measure of control despite the constraints arrayed against us, and the freedom to initiate constructive action.
Such an endeavor calls upon us to rise above our differences for the sake of the nation. We are not asked to alter our views, but to collaborate whenever we recognize shared needs and can find common cause.
All of us have skills, and the ability to teach and learn from others. Everyone has undiscovered capacities. Together we can rebuild America, each making the effort to bring others along with us, teaching, serving, sharing knowledge, skills, and energy.
We need to focus our vision, develop locally-based cash economies, and begin to rethink the future. When social and economic well-being becomes a mutual necessity we will discover numerous opportunities to contribute.
What we need most from each other is a positive attitude. Let’s get acquainted with our neighbors and expand our network of relationships, reaching outward from our personal comfort zone. There will be rich rewards.
The majority of our neighbors will warm to us when we show an interest in them. The more we demonstrate our interest in them, the better most people will listen to what we have to say.
Listening with a genuine intent to understand almost always gets results. If this fails despite your persistent good will, leave them to themselves.
Why is this so important? Because trust and dependability are critically important at times of disunity and danger. Especially among neighbors.
Safety depends on it. Constructive action depends on it.
With some care and thoughtfulness, we will begin to see productive opportunities open up – ways to team people up with each other, to share knowledge and deepen trust. We each have the capacity to learn new skills and take on new roles.
Again, this does not require that we alter our views, but it does give others a chance to understand the reasoning behind our views.
Personal perspectives often change in new circumstances.
Sometimes we do not realize how our own experience can be helpful to others in unexpected ways. The capacity and knowledge of others might be suppressed or veiled by suffering. Let’s listen and give encouragement!
I assure you that an open-minded investigation into the potential capacity of every individual will yield unexpected gems.
This is far more than a charitable concern. It will expand community resources, and strengthen security in dangerous times. Even individuals lacking in capacity will often respond to caring attention with the greatest compassion, energy, and loyalty.
Let’s reach out and test our limits.
As I have said, the road to freedom is built with vision, principle, and responsibility. Americans are caring, inventive and resourceful. We can rise to the challenge, freeing ourselves from negativity and partisan bickering.
We are capable: We can do this!
A note to regular readers: The blog will take a brief break for the holidays. Please watch for the next post on or about January 3.
A project description, an introduction and several chapter drafts from the forthcoming book are posted at this site (see links above). Please see especially Chapter One: American Crucible.