On this first day of the new year, it seems only appropriate to put down a few thoughts. I’ll not do resolutions, as such, though some of the thoughts may (and should) lead to good things getting done.
- While 2010 was economically challenging, I believe that 2011 will see the need for just about all of us to do more with less. With that in mind, there is benefit to picking the brains of those who went through the period from WW1 through WW2 while yet they are among us. Despite increases in science and technology, people today still breathe air, drink water, eat food, etc.
- With all that will be happening politically this year, there will be many, many opportunities to join this group, give to that group, and so forth. I think we need to be wise about spreading ourselves too thin. While some of us might have the time and the finances to really get behind and support 20, 30, 50 different organizations and causes–most of us do not. Instead, it would be much better were each of to pick a handful of organizations with whose messages we are most connected and whom we can support financially. An added benefit of this approach is that we should be able to take the time to keep said organizations accountable–a task which is even more important in difficult economic times.
- It is critical that we do not spend most of our time in political skirmishes (that is, addressing insignificant or inconsequential matters). While there is a time for such engagements, I believe 2011 will see a clash of ideologies as those who believe in having the freedom to fail take on those who believe freedom has failed. Once again, we have only so many resources–and should use them wisely to support and advance the causes of individual liberty, states rights, etc.
- Elected officials’ votes mean more than ours do. Do not get this wrong. I’m not saying that our votes do not matter, but rather that once we have elected someone–whether that person was our preferred candidate or not–that person carries the weight of representing us in his or her every vote. We cannot afford to elect anyone and then turn them lose for a year or 2 or 4 or 6 as the case may be. We must regularly contact them (once a week, biweekly, once a month–whatever works best for each of us) and explain why we agree/disagree with their positions on a given matter. Remember, the unwritten letter/email is never read. Will this make a huge difference? Depends on the elected official. But it is our job to let our employees know how well they are meeting up with our expectations, isn’t it?
- We must be unsurprised when our elected officials disappoint us. They are human. A rule of human relationships is that if someone you know has yet to disappoint you–you must not have known him or her for very long. With the gains which were made in conservative representation in the recent election, we have high hopes for good things to happen. Nothing wrong with a positive outlook. However, we must temper it with reality so that we do not set ourselves up for disabling discouragement and all that goes with it.
- Squabbling amongst ourselves over less-critical (at this time) issues is a sure way to destroy the hope which we have to set the ship of state on a better course. What are those less critical issues? I’m sure we have different things in mind, but let me note that first and foremost on the critical list is ensuring the financial future/stability of this country. Right next to it is ensuring that we have a country with real borders. If we do not have a country with a stable financial basis–it matters little what else might have been done.
I’m certain that there are more things which could be added to this list, but I think it is a good start. Go ahead and add your own thoughts in the comments if you would like to.