Our Great Civic Duty
Despite its challenges and mind-bending obstacles, life is rarely easy on the other side. Walk a mile in the shoes of the disabled or unemployed and you’ll realize you haven’t a complaint in this world. In fact, it would serve you well to harp less on your own struggles, and advocate more for those in need. Why, you might ask? Because it’s our great civic duty.
Compassion helps us tap into our greater selves! Caring for others (regardless of class, color or creed) is simply the right thing to do. Surely, there’s more to life than just our careers, or amassing great wealth and possession for our families alone. Beyond the comfort of our dwellings is a country, not unlike third-worlds seen on television. There’s hurt, hunger, and hopelessness just outside our back doors.
But it’s easy to forget, or rather, wax cold when things have worked in your favor. If one has never tasted debility or unemployment, or even hunger, how could he raise his voice against those who have? Where is his compassion and sense of civic duty? His steady income will cause him to think and judge and advocate politically. Those without become lazy or irresponsible, and he becomes the victim for having to support them.
If only our politics weren’t so precious! If only people had compassion for their neighbors and honored their civic duty. Who among us is truly independent? Is it your hard work or personal responsibility that keeps you employed? Is it your talent, or education, or interpersonal skills, or does it all boil down to that business owner who created the job, owns the job, but chooses to employ you? Or that high power which gives each of us strength to work every day? Lose everything you have, and your politics will be lost right along with it.
On the Opposite End of Compassion…
I’ve lost jobs and money. I’ve spent years monitoring and managing my credit, only to see it rot before my very eyes. I’ve stood in the unemployment line with people of all colors and beliefs—both personal and political. And what I remember from those times are not people who were lazy, or irresponsible, or who were looking for handouts. We were people who wanted to work, but simply could not support ourselves or our families.
Compassion and understanding are needed now more than ever. This civic duty is our end and purpose. While life may involve the amassing of money and goods and political ideas, and the exercising of these things, it is not what should define your life or my own. Caring for and serving others is this natural life’s supreme plan. And as we press toward our dreams and goals (as we do each week), my hope is that we honor, and not forget, our great civic duty.
This is your Monday Unleaded for the week of November 3, 2013. Have a productive week!
God Bless The Child – Billie Holiday
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