“Do you want your children to live the same life you have lived?” This was the final question we asked when we were encouraging black Americans to vote in 1965. It was rural South Carolina and voting was dangerous. After a sharecropper gave us a list of the reasons he would not register, we popped the question. Seventy-five percent of the time or better it was the question that made the difference and got them on the bus to the county courthouse.
That was 1965, but we need to be asking that question now. What kind of a world do we want to leave to our children? Is it one of violence, selfishness, bitter rancour and a governmental system that doesn’t work. Or do we want them to be considerate, willing to cooperate, kind and involved in solving the problems that face our nation? If it is the latter, we need to get on the bus in terms of expecting manners, listening skills, and thoughtful consideration. We also need to pay attention to them, take time for them, and get actively involved in the political process. We’ve allowed politicians to create the current atmosphere because it’s difficult and time-consuming to understand issues. We forget that the Constitution gives us rights but it also expects us to take responsibility. If we want a government that works, we need to get involved in making it do so.
Where do we begin?