(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr)
Another busy week for me – I had some classes at work. My pretty awesome boss pointed me at them, so not only did I get important management training, I now have to take a test because these people aren’t messing around. However it meant Monday and Tuesday were solid work, along with most of Wednesday.
But hey, I got some Civic activity to talk about. For those of you new here, I’m documenting my experiences in being more engaged as a citizen, inspired by Anil Dash.
Right now I’m sort of on hold in getting involved in Election 2016 due to the conventions – which means everyone is focused on watching them, getting ready for what’s after them, and in the case of the Republicans, apparently wondering what the hell happened. I’ve got my contacts lined up with the right local groups and political parties, and in a bit over a week will be going to a huge networking event to find what I can do for 2016. Sort of glad to have sorted that out – but as noted if you want to get politically involved it’s not always clear how. I’ve found that, unless you want a random angry mob of people, a lot of political organizations that aren’t special interest (unions, professional associations) really recruit from the choir.
Pretty sure part of my future in politics is recruiting.
Also, more and more thinking on the idea of being on the city council advisors for my city. My local library is doing a Pokewalk, how can I not love a place like this?
I finished The Little Book Of Revolution, a great book on how we need to engage people in personal political discussion. Despite my gift of gab, I’m not that great at political discussion because I’m very results-oriented not framing oriented, so the book was quite valuable. I see how I can work with people better as opposed to coming off as . . . well, a well-meaning project manager. Which is what I am.
One major takeaway from the book is the need for people to understand their own political philosophies and frames, which is very rare. If you don’t know where you’re coming from and how to interact with people as part of a picture, how do you talk to them? So one thing I want to do is sit down and think over and clarify my own politics – which I might do here.
Confucius once described something called “making your stand,” which seemed to fit this – the phase in your life where you have a comprehensive philosophy. I think we all need that. If we have it, we need to be sure we’re good at discussing it.
Remember how I’ve gone on about the importance of following the news? Well when you do and find things like Trump has assorted ties to Russia? That it seems he’s financially dependent on Russian interests? Yeah. This is why you follow the news as a citizen.
I feel we’ve lost the idea of the sophisticated, informed, practical citizen. Sure it was an ideal, but now too often it’s an act, someone acting informed when all their ideas come from a conspiracy website or some media hack. Being informed is hard work. And a bit depressing.
You also have to act on it.
There’s your takeaways. Get involved (and it takes time), learn to communicate, and follow the damn news.
May not have much more this week as its busy, but I’m guessing after next week it’s gonna get interesting.