Taking responsibility

Dave Winer:

…the negotiation that must take place is between the people of the United States, not the two parties, not the news networks, we need to solve this one ourselves, to decide what kind of country we want.

Rant alert: the following is a bit of a ramble – you have been warned 😉

Reminds me of a quote from Utah Philips – he suggested that he would run for President as the “Sloth and Indolence” party with the charter of doing absolutely nothing if he took office. In other words, he said, if you want something done you’ll have to get in there and do it yourselves!

I think that’s a sentiment we in Australia have to take to heart as well. I don’t know what that means for me just yet. I was thinking about it today over breakfast and the thought that came to me was this:

Join the Labor party – support Labor and support a progressive agenda in an attempt to swing the party left and be part of the support base Latham needs so that he can build a solid policy platform and present that confidently to the electorate at the next election.

Now, I’m just thinking out loud here. That’s not necessarily what I’m going to do. But it is one of the many thoughts I’ve had post-election about how I personally can get involved – to help shape this country politically in a way that we can be proud of.

I could join the Democrats or the Greens and do the same thing. A new political party might be the way to go. Working with NGOs (perhaps here, here, here or here) and applying pressure through lobby groups might be another. Creating informational literature (as handouts or a website) that shows how the Liberals policies create all sorts of problems for all sorts of people. Actually writing and meeting with your federal member.

I don’t really know what I’m going to do – but I will do something. There are so many things that can be done and I honestly don’t believe there’s a right and a wrong thing. I think if we all do a little bit each we will have an impact no matter what it is. And it would be great if we could co-ordinate our efforts to have maximum impact when that’s appropriate.

The worst thing that we can do, though, is to get caught thinking that what we do can’t make an impact. We may not all be a Dalai Lama or a Nelson Mandela – but collectively we can make a significant impact. The tough part is picking something and committing to it – in whatever way we can. Perhaps the Take it Personally website can serve as inspiration?

I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to end with a question – and not a rhetorical one. I would dearly love to hear what people have to say through comments or on their own weblogs – what are you going to do? I know that a lot of people I know want to do something – what have you thought of so far?

  • Well at the moment I feel that I am limited in what I can do as I am living so far away from the action (ie most things happen in the capital cities).

    Currently I am involving myself practically in the revegetation projects of my local landcare group (looking forward to potting up some trees in the nursery this wednesday) and playing an active role in Australia Tibet Council ( mainly by working on organisation of our Woodford Stall). But as for a list of things that I consider that I will be doing over the next 3 years to make Australia a better place….

    * Firstly,( and most importantly), going to every single protest, meeting, talk, film night etc for everything that I feel strongly about – be it peace, Tibet, the environment, refugee rights etc. And being proud to be in that crowd of people, and making sure that no matter what, I stay peaceful and protest responsibly!

    * At said events, signing petitions, taking info (both to read and to pass on to others when I am done) and writing letters in my own time.

    * another really important one is making sure that every action I take, every item I buy, I think about the impact on the environment, on the lives of those that made it, and the impact on my Karma ( in relation to animal products especially) and purchase and act accordingly.

    * I will buy merchandise from organistions that I support and show it proudly – badges, stickers and t shirts, they all start converstion and discussion with a wide variety of people! And it makes people think about the issue, if even for a moment.

    * I will, (moneyflow permitting!), maintain my membership with organisations that I believe in, and hopefully lend my support to a greater number of them as well!

    * I will write letters not only to politicians, but also to newspapers as a method of spreading the word on issues.

    * I will lend my time to volunteer for organisations that need support, and help in whatever way i can.

    * I am also considering joining the Greens, as they seem to think the same way I do on many issues, and I feel a sense of trust, which says alot when it comes to politics!

    As I don’t work at the moment, I feel that I am able to do all of these things and more, most people that have jobs don’t have time to tick off this whole list, but I am sure they are not too busy to do at least one of these things a month to make the planet healthier,safer and more just. The point is to make a difference whenever the opportunity arises.

    Most importantly, we must not stay silent over issues that matter, and we must give a voice to those that have none.

  • Why am I the only one that has responded to the question? 🙂

    Come on guys I am sure you have some plans for the next 3 years!

    love Spiral girl

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