Commit for Change: What’s Your Pledge?

It’s been a great day for America.  I’m slow to recall the last time it felt this good to be one. Even so, if you check the right wing blogs–pick them at random–or read even positive posts on lefty blogs–(look at the comments), you’ll see the haters are still hating and their vitriol is as acidic as ever.  As we proceed, we can take nothing for granted.

Obama’s challenge is indeed daunting.  We face unrest, imbalance on every front  and deep-seated resentment. He’ll need every one of us to pitch in in order to foment change and volunteering is a great way to do it. We each can pledge to do something that makes things better for one another.

If you believe things have gotten much worse over the past decade, GREAT. You’ve survived the GOP brainwashing.  If you think that everyone in the inner city thrives on welfare, you’re delusional.  And if you think that inner city teens aren’t having more babies (further burdening already troubled, large families), you either don’t work in health care, children services or any faith-based charity.


Across the nation, urban centers are plagued with rampant, chronic unemployment, properties sit empty as the homeless population grows, multiple adjacent empty properties are torched, turning entire neighborhoods into, scarred, barren wastelands.  I mentioned in an earlier article that the second wave of the mortgage meltdown is just making landfall and will take several years to eviscerate homeowners whose ARMS, bought on the heels of the Sub Prime Crisis, will reset.

So as bad as it in in the inner city, it’s going to get much worse in the burbs before things improve.  Perhaps as it does, some of those who feel so secure in their clustered subdivisions  financed to the nines with ARMS and second mortgages tied to the Prime Rate; who have been so willing to blame the bad decisions of poor people for causing the mortgage mess instead of indicting predatory lenders, will have reason to reconsider.

In case you haven’t noticed, the homeless demographics have change radically in recent years.  There are more families, older families, families that were secure for a long time but that got “punked” by their inadequate health care when a primary wage-earner got seriously ill.  Families whose heads of households have advanced degrees.  Shelters, now morphed, provide services to a much wider cross-section of America’s populace, unfortunately they’re forced to do so as funding continues to shrink.  Bush, et all simply ignored this.  We can no longer afford to look the other way.   The “Trickle Down” simply isn’t trickling.  It’s become a stalactite.

Barack wants volunteers. With so many of us underemployed or unemployed, ranks of volunteers should grow. Volunteering doesn’t pay one’s bills but it does make one feel like he or she is making a contribution. This goes a long way to bolster self-esteem, which in a down economy, can take a beating.  The poor need help. The elderly need help.  Families need help.  Stray pets need help.  Burned out neighborhoods need help.  The environment needs help.  The housebound need help.  Kids needs help.  Single parents need help.  Teens need help.  We all need help.

volunteers-img_1303Rich or poor, we each have gifts.  For some it may be time, for others, certain skills and for still others, monetary wealth.  Each of us can volunteer time, goods, services and/or treasure.  Give it some thought.What can you do? How can you pitch in?

One thing Republicans chant like a mantra, even though Dubya and his merry tricksters lost sight of it in the last 8 years is “Government can’t solve all of our problems”.  And about this, they’re right, even though theirs has been the biggest government in US History, outstripped only by their spending. Bigger government can’t address all problems.    But if as Americans, we’re not willing to donate the “human capital” needed to improve our quality of life and if the government CAN’T step in, who will?

Let’s get off our complacent hind quarters and make meaningful contributions that can help turn things around.  Let’s start with ourselves. What will be your pledge?

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