November 2, 2016

Wondering, on Wednesday (v68)

A week before I wonder on what will likely be a momentous Wednesday, I'm wondering on smaller things. And, at the same time, bigger things.

I've long encouraged friends to get involved, to make phone calls to elected officials, to email movers and shakers, to take the ideas and concerns they come up with and share them with people who might be able to help do something. There came a point in time where I actually started listening to myself and took my own advice.

I've asked politicians their positions on issues; I asked Syracuse University for help in stopping violence in our community; I've sent suggestions to various people in Syracuse city government on how to help rebuild neighborhoods, and, last night, I sent a formal submission to the group that's looking at giving New York State legislators a pay raise; the suggestion is the one outlined here.

Throughout these efforts, I've had very mixed success - heck, sometimes I never even made the call or sent the message like I told myself I would, to be honest. But I keep thinking that if even one person reads this stuff or takes my call, they might think a little differently, or act a little differently, or share a little honesty, or maybe at least they'll laugh a little. And so the next time, or the time after, I'll get my message through.

I don't stop wondering, on Wednesday or any other day of the week, just because someone doesn't answer, or because I get an answer that I don't like. And I realized, while talking with a friend  the other night about what happens next regardless of who wins the election, that trying to solve the problems of the world by starting at the top of the mountain sometimes isn't the best option.

No matter how frustrated we might be with Washington and Congress and gridlock and deplorables and lies and the lying liars that tell them on both sides and Russia hackers (for 17 really smart people have said they're Russian, even though a certain orange politician pretends to disagree) and Wikileaks and emails and somehow we get Anthony Wiener back, even with all of that, trying to change our political system starting in the Oval Office and hoping that the good will trickle down is like, well, trying to build our economy by giving more to rich people so they'll have more to pass down to poor people, in a tiny little trickle.

Money flows up, not down. Ideas, too, flow up and not down.

Oh sure, a Senator or Congressman or even the POTUS can have an idea and pass it down to minions, committees, caucuses and the like, but where do the best ideas, the wildly creative ideas, the sure-to-fail-until-we-try ideas come from? From us. The little people, with big ideas, who start small. Who start.

I wonder, with what we're facing next week, will people be so turned off by whatever the result is that they JoeBidenliterally turn off the tap? Get so frustrated they they stop even caring about sharing ideas?

I hope not -- because we'll need ideas more than ever once this election is decided. We'll need them to help us invite people we haven't spoken to in months to Thanksgiving dinner, and to help restore marriages that have suffered on opposite sides of the bed from being on opposite sides of the fence. And we'll surely need to be putting ideas on the table for getting something --anything -- accomplished in Washington, or Albany, or Onondaga County or Syracuse...  You get the drift.

And I wonder, thinking back to a question asked during a debate earlier this evening between the candidates for my Congressional district, if I "could wave a magic wand and change one thing...what would it be?"

I'd wipe out the urge to sit out the next four years. I'd rather have a person with whom I've battled for the past several months engaged and still with skin in the game than sitting on the sidelines.

Whatever happens, don't give up. Think big, start small.