Friday, January 21, 2005

"ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL." Having been sucked into and emerged from the quadrennial vortex that is the national Presidential and state Gubernatorial election season, take some time survey the real landscape of living. Look around at your own community context. For all the earth-shattering rhetoric and paradigm-shifting promises that are the stuff of politics and partisan ideologies, we must affirm an eclipsing reality: "All politics is local."

WHETHER OR NOT. Whoever is in the White House, community is affected dramatically more by local neighbors--whether or not we care for one another, whether or not we stand up for those who are mistreated, whether or not we address broken institutions and life-crushing local policies, whether or not we see ourselves as our neighbors' keepers, whether or not we act primarily in our own best interest or in the interest of the common good in our community.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY, OUR OPPORTUNITY. Four years from now, this community will not be able to blame problems on or claim victories from George W. Bush. I will not give him or his Administration that much credit or control. Four years from now, this community will either more exemplify shalom or retrench into the self-fulfilling prophecies of the trickle-down economics of the neo-capitalism that Robert Bellah describes. Either way, the responsibility will be predominantly on local neighbors. Are you ready to become the neighbor who acts to heal the community?

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