Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

pot luck

“To throw oneself to the side of the oppressed. is the only dignified thing to do in life.”. Edwin Markham

I remember as a kid going to pot luck dinners in which folks would bring home-fried chicken that tasted like Heaven. It's too easy to draw some broad metaphor about what folks can do when they work together, but in hindsight, those community efforts frequently resulted in incredible meal combinations.

I like that Gandhi-esque notion that each person can make an individual difference in making progress, and that a revolution requires only one revolutionary. But I'm attracted by the idea of how much people can do working together. Mrs. Thatcher's phrase (perhaps one of her few fortunate phrases) about the "thin veneer of civilization" has a point, but that veneer, surface though it may sometimes be, can be so important.

This week the national media takes the Saturday capture of Mr. Hussein, a villain worth capturing, and renders the triumph banal through repetition. I suppose that some fervor is in order, but I must confess that the nature of the coverage in newspapers and cable networks merely reminds me how conservative mainstream corporate media has become. I reach the point, though, in which I worry less about whether one wishes for more government or less government, and more about what can one do to make things better.

I lose faith in government, in churches, in schools and in other institutions as agents of progressive change. It all begins with "We the People" but somehow ends with "How will the stock market be affected by the Capture?".

I have faith in things like pot luck dinners, the local trail maintenance society, the fellow down the street who donated our little business a Christmas tree, and well-written novels. Sometimes I find hope in the smallest worthwhile things.

I begin to wonder what I can do to help "do the right thing", just me, just doing, just right.
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