Your regularly scheduled programming on art, woodworking, lighting, and the like, has been replaced with a brief rant on our current politics and a call to action for increased civic engagement.
There's a range of political discourse and views with which people of good conscience can disagree, and that can form the basis of animated or even heated debate. But the lack of decency, and disinterest in demonstrable fact and science of the current administration makes me scared for our future and for our democracy.
Here's the rant... feel free to skip past this section...
Economic grabs by the 0.1% disguised as tax "cuts" and "unburdening" business. Demonizing science and scientific discourse, and transforming "career bureaucrat" into a slur when its this expertise and knowledge that keeps, among other things, our drug supply safe and rivers clean. Undermining civil rights for minorities of all stripes, whether via attempting to ban transgender in the military, gutting Congressionally-authorized federal oversight of police, or trampling on voting rights of disenfranchised communities. Singleminded focus on coal as the world shifts in other directions for both economic and environmental reasons. Appointment of agency heads whose professional mission prior to running said agencies was the dismantling of that agency [Pruitt] - or who have zero knowledge in that agency [Carson]. Reveling in divisiveness and holding campaign rallies, all for ratings and press coverage, without even attempting to provide a moral backbone, showing at best, disinterest in, and at worst, contempt for, uniting the nation.
I could continue with more statements, each one of which you could find a hundred well-written articles by those with deeper knowledge than myself, great historical context (such as this blog written by my good friend, Noel Cilker), and more specific thoughts on how to respond.
... continue reading here.
At a lunch in late September, a friend and former colleague asked me what I'm doing about my concerns, which reminded me that, in addition to my nightly YouTube dose of Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers, we should make sure we're engaging in more constructive activities, and encourage our friends and family to do the same.
So put your time and money out there to make the world a better place! If you are already engaged in one (or many) ways, thank you! If you're not, there are so many different ways to engage that can best make use of your time, energy, skills, or whatever you can offer up.
Engage with your community directly via Meals on Wheels delivering food and social interaction to homebound seniors. Help build homes or provide necessary repairs for disadvantaged communities with Habitat for Humanity. Participate in domestic microlending via an online platform such as Kiva. Amplify your voice with your local congressman or senator with an appeal to refocus on the interests of the 99%, environmental protection, civil rights, etc. Donate to the disaster relief efforts of the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico or Houston, or to the SPCA. Do a spring cleaning of your old clothes and give them to Goodwill, or your dusty and useless foreign coins to Unicef, or your battered old cell phones to the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
There are so many worthy organizations into which to channel your energy, your money, your unwanted but still useful possessions. And for hundreds of more volunteer ideas, check out Volunteer Match.
What am I doing?
Since the beginning of this year, I have directed thousands of dollars towards net new solar projects across the U.S. - much of this enabled by your business, as I've committed to spending 10% of my revenue in this way. Additionally, I've just installed 4kw solar system on a building I own, and am investigating installing about 20kw more in Arizona.
I have volunteered about 50 hours this year with Habitat for Humanity and Grid Alternatives to build houses and install solar for low income communities (and about 250 hours last year). I am mentoring a student who aims to be the first in his family to make it to college.
And for something a little more unique, I have shared a few hundred of these cards with friends and family. Want one? I'm happy to send you a few for free - just reach out on email - or if you want several, they're available inexpensively here.
I'd love to hear about unique (or not-so-unique) actions you've taken to make the world a better place, to take a stand for decency, and to oppose the destructive and self-dealing directions of this administration. Share in the comments below, or feel free to reach out directly.