- Politics and Social Issues
Grab A Mop
GRAB A MOP
Some of the information in this blog may be somewhat outdated but really nothing has changed since I originally posted it on the www.minglecity.com website Fall of 2010. The mudslingers are still slinging mud and all of our nice Obama paraphernalia is getting dirty.
The President said in a speech in New York last Fall that we should all "Grab a Mop" and stop complaining about the way he is mopping. Just Grab a Mop and do your part.
Today, August 4th, is the President's 49th Birthday. We've been asked to wear Obama paraphernalia, host birthday parties, sign birthday cards and celebrate. We should do that and more. Grab a mop! Recruit Volunteers for Voter Registration Drives, Visit the Board of Election website in your state and familiarize yourself with Voter Registration rules in your state. Does your state have Early Voting? One Stop Voting? How soon must you register before you can vote? Can 17 year olds register if they will be 18 on Tuesday, November 2nd? Where is your polling place? Can you take a vacation day on May 8th, primary day when Independents and Unaffiliated voters can vote and on Tuesday, November 6th and drive people to the polls? There is so much to be done and the Tea Party Aint' Playing. Maxine Waters? Charles Rangel? This is just the beginning! There's much more to come. Where is your Mr. Clean? Janitor in a Drum? Pine-Sol? Lysol? Ajax? WHERE IS YOUR MOP?
Once again I am on my soapbox. The approval rating for President Obama is 50% - down from a 69% approval rating following his inauguration, according to the latest Gallup Poll as reported by Mark Silva in the August 28th issue of the Chicago Tribune. Rush Limbaugh has said he wants the president to fail. Glenn Beck has called the president a racist. Steven Anderson a Baptist minister prays that the president is struck with brain cancer and goes to hell. Just recently, the Neo-Nazis held their Summer Conference in Burlington, NC. Presidential death threats are up 400% (EURweb.com) from the amount received by George W. Bush as the fingers of the right wingers are poised precariously on the trigger. And many of us are still sitting around celebrating the fact that we have a Black President. Yeah, I’m celebrating, too.
Now it’s time for us to ask ourselves what can we do to help this President succeed and not fail, which is Rush Limbaugh's wish. Wouldn’t it be great to have his legacy be that he wasn’t just the first Black president, but that he was a great statesman who balanced the budget, brought peace to the world, ended poverty, got global warming and other environmental issues under control and amongst other things passed a comprehensive health care reform bill.
I know. Most of us are still sitting back waxing philosophic and scratching our heads and talking about all the problems HE has to fix. Can he fix our dependency on foreign oil? You can fix your dependency on foreign oil. Look in the mirror. Don’t drive as much. Walk. Ride a bike. Carpool. That would help in three ways. (1) Help your health by increasing your level of exercise so you’d stay out of the doctor’s office, (2) help your pocketbook by reducing the amount of money spent on gas and (3) reduce our dependency on foreign oil. See, I’ve just added a couple of million dollars to the GNP right there – if we’d all actually do this.
Let’s all look in the mirror. I think the president has the perfect partner and First Lady in Michelle. She’s looked in the mirror and asked herself what can I do to help this country and carry out my husband’s agenda? What can I do to improve the planet? Answer: She planted a garden. You can do that too. Question: What can I do to improve the educational system? Answer: She volunteers in the schools. You can do that too. Read to a classroom of elementary kids. Help with homework by tutoring. Give a teacher a break during the school day so she can plan an interesting and stimulating curriculum for her class and not teach to the test as is happening now. President Obama is enacting laws in the Capitol building and Michelle is handling business around the Capitol. As should we all. What an example of a great partnership!
I read an article on Beliefnet.com by Karen Jones the other day that captured my attention. It reminded me of what I like to call the Pay It Forward Principle. Michael Baisden has talked about Paying It Forward on his syndicated radio show currently heard in 73 markets across the country. The Pay It Forward principle is based on a movie of the same name starring Haley “I-see-dead-people” Joel Osment , Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. Osment is asked to choose a school project that could change the world and he chooses to help a homeless guy only if the homeless guy in turn helps three other people in return. Then those three people help three other people and so on. This way the blessing spreads on and on exponentially. We usually want to help the person who has helped us out – pay the blessing back rather than pay it forward. Well when we pay the blessing back, the blessing is simply passed back and forth between two parties. Pay it forward allows the blessing to scatter among many. This is a beautiful movie worth checking out. It was released in theatres in 2000, but nine years later, I’d even go to a theatre to see this one – movie snob and sister-living-on-a-seriously-tight- budget that I am.
If you’re blessed enough to have even just the basics, you still have more than many people. In this recession, many people are homeless, without jobs, without food and just ain’t got nothing. We’ve talked often about looking in the mirror and asking what you can do for your country. Many people throughout time have espoused this same sentiment. It’s really nothing new. In the late eighties and early nineties George H W Bush asked for 1000 points of light and for each of us to become a beacon of light in our own communities by getting involved. It behooves us all to become 1000 points of light, to pay it forward, and perform random acts of kindness. Here is Karen’s list from Belief.net with suggestions of acts to perform to become beacons of light in your community. I have made some slight modifications:
Contact your local homeless shelter and ask how you might donate time, money or some other resource.
Buy a stranger some time on a parking meter. Or give a penny at those little trays in the convenience store next to the cash register.
If you knit or crochet, give a baby a blanket through the projectlinus.org.
Donate old eyeglasses to Lenscrafters
On your birthday, ask your friends to make donation to your favorite organization or charity.Another good site to visit is www.stopglobalwarming.com.
Give away old cell phones, pdas, pagers, etc to Staples Stores.
Outfit an employee through careergear.org or dressforsuccess.org.
Create a care kit for a sick or homebound friend or church member. Refer to the sick and shut-in list of your church bulletin. Include soup, magazines, thick comfortable socks, tissue, lip balm, lotion, help around the house…
Save our planet and find out how to dispose of old medications. Throwing old meds down the toilet ultimately pollutes our drinking water. Look for other ways to help Mother Earth at www.savetheplanet.org.
Contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to donate a pint of blood.
There are so many more ways to help. I like this list in particular because it was a bit unique from what we usually see.
The first lady is an advocate for community service. We can all get additional ideas on how and where we can serve in our communties by visiting the website www.serve.gov. I say, just do Something! Anything! Be like Nike. Just do it!
Leave a comment on how you help in your community, how you Pay It Forward, how you are a Point of Light, how you’ve done a Random Act of Kindness or how you just tried to live like Jesus.