Civic Diary 4/29/2016

(This column is posted at¬†and Steve’s Tumblr)

Hey all! So what’s the latest on my civic diary – my efforts to be more of a citizen?

Not much happened since last week as I got insanely busy. There’s a good lesson here in that you cannot do everything all the time. Sometimes you have to take care of yourself.

I think this is a big reason some people don’t really “dive into” citizenship activities; it’s exhausting and hard to pace yourself.

A few insights:

  • I’m realizing a lot of people do not know how to discuss politics – they know how to argue and fight, but not actually talk. I clearly need to get better at the discussion part.
  • Still convinced I need to get more involved in political organizations or organizing, which is hard as I have to pick something. For now I’m staying aware I should be more involved, and looking for opportunities to do so. I like observing this publicly as it makes me more self-conscious – so I do it.
  • The above has made me realize that, though I may understand many things of the world, my understanding of the political establishment (in the broad sense of everyone engaged in organized politics) is really quite poor. My work with Civic Geek helped me see how many organizations there are doing good in the world, and in turn I now see how much of our world, our society, are these interlinked structures. Being outside them disempowers you.
  • I think the disempowerment people feel is often real – but the solution is being empowered and empowering others. Getting aware and involved. A lot of political rage we see is just people finding new ways to be enslaved by jumping on fads.
  • Haven’t found anything new to write my representatives on. I am never sure how much of an effect it has, but I figure enough pebbles forms an avalanche.
  • Finally, I look at my other social involvements – clubs, speaking, museums, and worry I’ll downplay those too much. THere’s probably a balance – or a continuum – of healthy, different kinds of civic involvement. ¬†Maybe you can be too political.

– Steve