Tired of a Flailing Government: Teach a Man to Fish

fish2I learn something new every day.

Today via social media and news outlets I learned that Republicans are stupid. I learned that Democrats are clueless. I learned that the current regime is responsible for all our ills and that the new regime will make it better.

OK, I didn’t actually learn that.

What I did learn was that many people spend an inordinate amount of time blaming politicians and government for all number of failures in current society.

At the same time there is the almost universal belief that the current political system is broken. That government is a bit out of control. That it’s corrupt, paralyzed and bloated. The difference between the parties is a question of which corporate masters they serve, not if.

And yet at the same time we keep asking and hoping and demanding that this broken and corrupt system fix our problems. We keep thinking the next regime will do so much better of a job.

You see, this where the lunacy begins.

We want the institutions and people we believe are ineffective and corrupt to save us. We want the people we no longer trust to carry the day. That’s madness.

So, you think I’m now going to rant about needing to privatize solutions and let the free market corporations solve our problems?

Wrong. Stock-based corporations are the bane of this society. I will rant about that but not today. That’s a long, long rant that deserves its own headline.

I’m going to start my rant by looking at you and me and everyone around me. When did we become a society that handed over our well-being to the government and other large institutions? When did we decide handing over control and accountability and responsibility to bureaucracies was in our best interest?

I don’t care about what the government is going to do about all our ills. I want to know what you are going to do. I want to know what we are going to do.

What can one person do against such large problems, you ask? You can do one thing. One little thing. Could be any manner of things, that one thing. And all of us doing one little thing starts to add up.

numberone1One interaction at a time. That’s how we change things. Not waiting for someone else to fix it. It’s called community.

What am I talking about, you ask?  Let me give you some examples.

Perhaps you think we spend too much money on assistance for the needy and that the system is corrupt. I’m not here to argue for or against this belief so let’s not get into that. The question is what could you do about it.

Depending on your skills set you could do lots of different things. Remember, you just need to do one thing.

Teach someone struggling with finances how to budget. Teach them the consequences of loans and credit cards. Teach them about total cost of ownership. Teach them about handling money.  The better they can manage their finances the less they have to rely on others.

  • Teach someone self-sufficiency. Teach them a home improvement or car repair or other life skill. Teach them how to fix some plumbing. Teach them how to change their own car oil. Teach them how to replace a bad outlet or light socket. Everything they can do themselves is one more thing they don’t have to pay someone else for.
  • Teach someone how to cook and shop for food.  If you know how to cook you can eat for less. Knowing what to buy where and when can save even more. You can eat healthier. And if you’re healthier you get sick less. You miss less work. You go to the doctor less. You’re happier, more productive. Teach someone how to make a good soup today.

Self-sufficiency is at the heart of enabling and empowering. Without self-sufficiency enabling and empowering are just words.

Perhaps you think the education system is failing. Ooh, this is an easy one.

  • You could tutor.
  • You could teach ESL.
  • You could donate books.
  • You could take children on field trips.
  • You could do presentations for classes on your job or your hobbies.
  • You could teach basic life skills.

You know what’s great about helping someone with their education? It’s a gateway to self-learning which is gateway to self-sufficiency.

And remember, you just need to do one thing. See how it feels. It will feel good. It might even lead to another one thing.

Next time you want to rant about failing government and politicians and are looking for progress, stop. Look in the mirror and find that one thing you can do.

About joegergen

To evoke a smile. That's all. Author of "Methane Wars: A Fable" and "Lear's Fool" as well as various poems and some these painting things as well.
This entry was posted in Freedom, Personality and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tired of a Flailing Government: Teach a Man to Fish

  1. I like your suggestions about passing on our own knowledge to others. I think teaching others basic life skills goes a long way in bettering someone’s life, because I’ve come to understand that many young people really don’t know anyone to teach them about budgeting and managing money. Good post.

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