Monday, November 05, 2012
Lupe Fiasco for President!
-A Message to the Voters/Non-Voters-
With the Presidential Election underway I've come in contact with many People who don't Vote and aren't involved in the Political Process. Cool. I definately understand how they think. What I don't agree with is the apathy that accompanies non participation. In otherwords, although they can give you a laundry list of reasons why they don't Vote and aren't involved in the Political Process, rarely do they share even a few concrete, practical alternatives to not Voting or not being involved in the Political Process. It always leaves me wondering just how much thought they really put into Politics (The Science of Power) and the Political Process itself. It also leaves me wondering about their concern for the many People who actually share their sentiments... Without having any concrete, practical alternatives to an Ideology, Program or Political Structure we don't support, we consequently support that Ideology, Program or Political Structure by default. For example, if we don't support Public Schools because we claim they suppor the misducation of our youth yet aren't providing viable alternatives such as Charter Schools, Home Schools, GED Program and etc., then we're apathetically supporting the same system of miseducation we accuse the Public Schools of promoting because we ourselves have nothing to offer. Therefore, the youth are left to stay in Public School or drop out and fend for themselves. I can't speak for you b.u.t. I don't think those are very good alternatives.
The above paragraph exemplifies a common non-participatory approach I cee many People take towards 'unsolving' the problems we face. We often have a various creative ways of critiquing problems, pointing out flaws and articulating why we aren't going to support something yet invest little thought, time, finances and etc. in providing actual solutions. The next time you hear somebody explaining why they don't do something or support a certain program, ask them what do they suggest as an alternative. More often than not, you and they'll be surprised what they actually come up with. What you will find, in most cases, is that they never even put much thought into doing something about it beyond words. This sheds light on a greater problem than the ones you heard them pointing out in the first place.
One of the lessons I've learned growing up and that was reinforced through gaining Knowledge of Self is that it's not enough to point out a problem without striving to provide a solution. Growing up in a household with six siblings we were all responsible for taking responsibility and playing our part. There was always work to do and playing the 'blame sombody else game' didn't allow us to get the work done. Yes we tried and were usually unsuccessful. In order for our family to operate with some basic level of efficiency we all had to pitch in and help -whether that was doing dishes, dusting or have a sock party (where we'd all sit down and match the washed socks). Likewise, in order for our communities, cities, counties, regions and states to operate with some basic level of efficiency we all have to pitch in and help too. Me and my siblings weren't allowed to get away with pointing out a problem and not striving to do something about it or not being held accountable for helping solve it. I couldn't imagine my Ole Earth or Ole Dad running around to put out brush fires, and there were alot, everytime one of us ran to them about a problem. Wisely they delegated responsibility to us by age and taught us to develop problem solving skills to address these issues ourselves. I'm thankful I got it and learned to further develop this strategy towards Life as I've grown and developed. I'm sure that many of us didn't grow up in this way and possibly the 'blame somebody else game' was a way of life in our household, yet that doesn't sentence us to a life of irresponsibility. As Adults we have a choice and if a philosophy or approach towards Life isn't working out for us we have the power to change that.
I would like to make a few suggestions to those of us who aren't voting in the upcoming Presidential Election or who aren't involved in the Poltitical Process as a whole. First and foremost it's important to recognize that your non-participation makes you an unwilling participant by default. You're still subject to all of the Governmental Policies and Procedures that are enforced on a National, Regional and Local Level. To simply choose to have no say (voice) or opt out in how these Policies and Procedures are drafted, implemented and enforced on a National, Regional and Local Level doesn't mean that you, your family, your community and your place of employment won't be affected by these Policies and Procedures. As a matter of fact, to choose to have no say (voice) translates into your 100% approval. If we don't approve then surely we should be willing and able to provide some concrete, practical alternatives that we approve through participation. If we haven't come up with anything we actually do or we can encourage others to do, then we're doing ourselves and others an injustice by having nothing to offer b.u.t. words. Keep in Mind that if it really came down to it People will drink mop water if there's nothing there for them to drink... So this is what I suggest to those who don't Vote or aren't involved in the Political Process:
1.) Do something about it. If you're not Voting or involving yourself in the Political Process then come up with some practical alternatives. When I say "practical alternatives" I'm talking about concrete activities People can engage in right now that will help empower them in a way that Government is supposed to. I'm talking about practices that can be implemented amongst those who share the same sentiments on a daily basis that serves the needs of the People. If you don't agree with the Governments Policies towards funding Arts Programs then do something about it by establishing an Arts Program or committing yourself to helping financially support Arts Programs.
2.) Network with those who share your sentiments. Network doesn't mean get together and vent, trade conspiracy theories or beat up on Fox News about what's going on in this Society. You're intelligence and their intelligence equals a whole lot of intellectual compacity to either change the System as we know it or set up your own. If that's not the reasoning or goal for why your congregating with eachother then what's the point? Personally I and many others may agree with many of your thoughts about Politics and the Poltitical Process b.u.t. simply because we got together and didn't do anything above and beyond talking, we feel no more inspired, educated or empowered about the future than before we met.
3.) If you're not actually doing anything about it then save your time and breath. I didn't say "going to do" something, I specifically said "doing" something. In my short lifetime I've been to many meetings to meet about something to plan another meeting about what we need to meet about. Years, Months and Days later nothing has changed and the same concerns exist. A simple rule I've learned to follow is that if I don't have anything to offer than I don't have anything to offer. Make sense? In otherwords, if I'm not in the position where I know for a fact that I can get someone employed, I'm not going to have a long discussion about how a person needs to stop hustling or sitting around not working. Usually THE FIRST THING People who are in positions will say is, "I don't have a choice" (there aren't any alternatives). And if you can't provide any alternatives then you are simply a part of the problem. I know you mean well and don't cee yourself that way b.u.t. that's what you actually are. Hey, you may be able to get them a job at Burger King which ain't equal to the paper they make on the block b.u.t. at least it's some thing. Something they probably won't have to always look over their shoulder, over the counter or through the drive thru to do. If anything, they'll at least recognize that you cared enough to provide an alternative for them beyond a mini lecture and you never know, they may follow you up on that!
In closing I just wnat to emphasize the importance of being Proactive. Regardless if you choose to Vote and be involved in the Political Process or not, we all need to play a positive and productive role in our families and places where we live (communities) to ensure that it's a better place for us, our children and our elders. There are many things we share in common and take a vested interest in regardless of our Political or Non-Political stances and it often takes a shift in our Geopolitical landscape (Hurricane Sandy) to cee this and work together. So regardless who gets elected as the President of the United States, lets at least agree to commit ourselves to being Presidential in our families and communities. Lets at the very least agree to take more responsibility and be accountable for the change we desire to cee, not simply in words b.u.t. in deeds!