You may have noticed a short quote from John F. Kennedy on my blog.
Which might seem odd, seeing that he was a Democrat and this is a conservative blog.
But, here's the thing. When is the last time that a current political leader made a demand of the electorate?
When is the last time that you heard Stephen Harper, Barack Obama, or any other politician for that matter, say, "Don't ask what the Country can do for you. Ask yourself what YOU are doing for the Country?"
Working conservative Canadians may say, "Hey, I'm a tax-payer, I'm doing my share already. I'm doing MORE than my share." And in some respects, you may be right. I've commented before that more and more, the Government seems to pay too much attention to those who do too little, and too little attention to those who do too much.
But - the idea remains - that as Canadians, as members of a free democracy, every once in a while, we should resist the temptation to ask the government to do more for us, and should ask ourselves if there is something more WE can do to improve our communities and the world around us.
Before asking the government to cut taxes and reduce payments to trivial or pointless endeavors, ask yourself, "What am I doing to reach out and support an endeavor that I think is worthwhile, that I don't particularly feel tax dollars should be used to support?
Consider, perhaps, the value of sports in your community - making our youth healthier, providing them a source of self-worth, lessons in cooperation and team work, and, if nothing else, a distraction from using their youthful energy in other, perhaps more destructive, ways.
And then ask yourself, "Do I have time that I could volunteer to help out? Do I have some extra room in my budget that I could part with to support a local youth organization?"
If you are worried about crime in your community, rather than waiting for the Government to put more people in jail (on your dime, by the way), what have YOU done to help reduce crime? Have you spent any time with your children this week.. asking them about their day, their thoughts and ideas - engaging them, to assure them that their family is there for them, reducing the possible influence of negative peer influences.
If you are worried about "Islamic extremists" - have you done anything to reach out and get to know your neighbor or co-worker who is a typical, law-abiding, responsible member of the Muslim community - thereby, perhaps, reducing the sense of isolation that they or their families might feel?
The point is, that we live in the midst of what conservative humorist P.J. O'Rourke calls, "A gigantic global "Not My Fault" project:
"A gigantic global "Not My Fault" project has been undertaken with heroic amounts of time, effort, and money devoted to psychology, psychotherapy, sociology, sociopaths, social work, social sciences, Scientology, science, chemistry, the brain, brain chemistry, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, inhibitions, sex, sex therapy, talk therapy, talk radio, talk radio personalities, personality disorders, drugs, drug-free school zones, Internet addition, economics, the Fed, PMS, SATs, IQ, DNA, evolution abortion, divorce, no-fault car insurance, the Democratic Party, diagnosis of attention deficit disorder in small boys... The list goes on."
From "Don't Vote, It Just Encourages the Bastards"
Some time ago, I sat down with a group of people at a meeting with Premier Stelmach.
Now - you can say what you want about the Premier and about the PC Party of Alberta - but, to be fair, when given the opportunity to have a round table and talk with the Premier, to a person (with one exception) they put their hand out, and, like the poor orphan, Oliver Twist, said, "Please, sir, we want some more.."
Here we are in perhaps the most affluent country in the world, living in the most affluent province in this country, where our wants are so few - and yet, we still can't seem to resist acting like starving orphans.
Today, I'll think I'll just say "thank-you" to the government we do have, and the blessings we, as Canadians have received, and think about what I can do to help make my community a little bit better.