Election season is now in full swing and the promises of what the federal government will or will not do are flying in as thick and fast as the political smears.
Liberal candidates say that if they are elected they will get the government in Washington, D.C. to start working harder for the average American through consumer protection, bank regulation and the fight against Wall Street corruption. Conservative candidates promise that they will get the government out of the life of the average American, work to secure the United States-Mexico border and protect the U.S. from terrorists.
Yet, out of all the promises from both candidates and parties regarding what the government will do for the people, not a word has been spoken about what the American public can do to improve the country and help out their fellow countrymen who are less fortunate. Americans’ ability to unite in trying times and help one another has proven itself crucial many times in the annals of this country.
Now, in these trying and divisive times, the nation cannot look at government and politicians for answers and examples to move forward. Instead, each person must take it upon him or herself to work to improve both the community and country bit by bit. This is the surest way to get back to progress as a nation.
For far too long, Americans have been asking what the government can do to protect them, aid them and better their lives. The ability to move forward and help Americans lies not with the government,in front of or behind the public. Rather, this ability lies in the government’s work in tandem with the people as a sort of partnership.
In order to form this partnership so as to improve the lot of those less fortunate, Americans as a people must band together and work to restore and improve, community by community. If ordinary people would take two or three hours out of their weekly schedule and used it to volunteer in their community, whether it be working in a soup kitchen or building houses for the homeless, they would be able to better the lives of their fellow countrymen.
Such small steps may seem insignificant but if entire communities, such as the one we have here at TCU, dedicated even a small portion of their time to bettering those communities and individuals less fortunate, those the communities serve will be greatly impacted. By working in the community, individuals can both improve the conditions of the community itself and serve as shining examples for individuals in other communities. The local community is the most basic building block in American society,yet if people took the time to improve this basic building block, it would have an upward effect on the rest of the country.
If one improves and serves the most basic part of the country, it can only have a positive effect on the larger municipalities, states and eventually the nation. Service in the community, even as small as helping out at the local soup kitchen for a couple of hours a week, can lead to a common bond among people that will provide an important sense of unity during these trying and divisive times. Service, self-sacrifice and care for one’s fellow human are neither Democratic nor Republican values, rather they are American values.
We the people must take the lead in bettering this nation. Instead of merely waiting for what the government says could help the country, Americans must take it upon themselves to serve their communities. Doing so would be a surer way back to prosperity and greatness than the promises or policies of any politician.
Jordan Rubio is a freshman broadcast journalism major from San Antonio.