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10.04.2012

Politics?...or Not.

Here's a slight derivation from the norm...

I've been thinking lately what a pity it is that caring for the environment is so often associated with political inclination. There's nothing inherently politically liberal about wanting nature to be right and healthy, yet we frequently assume there's some necessary connection between preferring big government and collecting reusable shopping bags.

I prefer small government because I love communities. And I believe that change begins on a local level, because you have to change a culture to change behavior. Also, I'm stubborn. I'd rather my neighbor and I partnered together to clean the streets than have someone in a city on the other side of the country telling me I have to.

The danger for me is in assuming that because I prefer small government, I shouldn't care for all the causes the big government people care about. Saving the whales and lowering carbon emissions isn't actually just for democrats. In fact, the idea behind small government thinking is that individuals should take these issues on themselves instead of leaving it to policy makers.

Compassion and consideration should never be left to one side of the political divide or another. Being fully human means caring for the world you've been given - not just as a gift, but as a responsibility. And I do think we can do more for it if we start doing things ourselves.

Regardless of who you're voting for and what you think people should be doing in Washington, I think we should take this voting season to seriously consider what it is that we are passionate about changing - whether it's damage to the environment, the rights of animals who cannot care for themselves, or human beings in need of basic necessities. There are concrete, practical things that we can do for change - most of which have nothing to do with who's in office.

I'll be thinking about what I want to do this month. Let me know if you want to do something, too.

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