(Author’s Note: Today’s post is inspired by two songs… Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” and Citizen Cope’s “Something to Believe In.”)
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
– From “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield
Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. As its website describes, #GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the U.S. to kick off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community.
For me personally, this seems like a good time to raise my voice – not in an angry sort of way or as a means to rattle others. Instead, it seems important to stand up for civility, for listening to others, for learning about the backgrounds and experiences and worldview of people like – and especially unlike – oneself. There are two organizations in my own community that do just that:
- SevenDays®. SevenDays engages all people to discover commonalities and overcome evil with acts of kindness. Born the result of a religiously motivated hate crime, this organization aims to make a ripple to change the world by connecting communities. Specifically, for one heavily programmed, highly concentrated week in April of each year, and supported by other activities and by a youth movement at other times of the year, SevenDays seeks to bring together the community. To learn more about the meaningful work of this organization, visit GiveSevenDays.org. @GiveSevenDays #BeTheRipple
- American Public Square. American Public Square is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that is changing the tone and quality of public discourse. It brings together non-like-minded people to create a forum for fact-based, civil conversation about potentially controversial national, regional and local issues. The organization has covered topics ranging from civic engagement to community matters to education to healthcare to faith and beyond. Most programming is panel-based and includes commentary from speakers on all sides of an issue to encourage civil and fact-based conversations in our community. To learn more about this important organization, visit AmericanPublicSquare.org. @AmPublicSquare #AmPublicSquare
[Disclosure: Not only am I a card-carrying member of American Public Square, I also serve as the organization’s Director of Community Development… that means I am a paid consultant – it’s a privilege to work with APS on issues that impact my family, my community and myself.]
How will you get involved? Visit the #GivingTuesday website at www.givingtuesday.org for a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in your own community. My hope is that you will find a way to GIVE – whether it’s of your time, of your treasure or of your talent by being vocal in your local community. And, you can engage with others! Bring along your family, your neighbors and friends, your company or organization.
Is it impossible to be learned?
Is it impossible to be taught?
‘Cause everybody could be burned
And anybody could get caught
Standing in the night
Trying to get it right
Coz this here life will test you
Over and over and over again
You keep giving me
Something to believe in
And I keep giving all
‘Cause the walls are falling down
– From “Something to Believe In” by Citizen Cope