Rising to Meet Current Challenges as One Nation

Several weeks ago a new reader commented on one of my posts. She ws so eloquent and spoke so directly to my heart, I emailed her and asked her if she would not mind writing a post for my blog.  I am humbled that she agreed, and so proud to present her to you now.

First, a bit of information about her:

Her name is Sharon McMillan and she blogs at New Urban Mom and she is also on Plurk, again as New Urban Mom. I would encourage you to add her blog to your blog reader, and friend her on Plurk.

And, without further adieu, I give you her brilliant thoughts:

I know “photo ops” are part of the political process and we really shouldn’t read too much into them, but I was really encouraged to see President Bush welcoming President-elect Obama into the White House during a visit this past week.

Beyond the historical significance, I couldn’t help but to feel I’m living in a new and promising age as I heard President Bush expressing his support for President-elect Obama.  The global financial crisis and its pinch on the U.S. economy would have a lot to do with the “spirit of cooperation” in Washington and around the world, but nonetheless it’s refreshing to see…and feel.

Yesterday I listened to President-elect Obama speak about the need for a new spirit of service and sacrifice among Americans during his first weekly online address and I thought I’ve got to do my part–now.  Our leaders are attempting to show such a degree of cooperation and clear sighted dedication to dealing with this problem that I think we can with confidence follow their suit.

Like many of you, I have family and friends that will be affected by a collapse in the auto sector – in fact we’ll likely all be affected if that happens. I worry about the impact that a uncertain economy will have on our schools – especially in those communities that can least afford any more cuts in education.

So instead of holding my head in panic, I decided that we need to do something.  My particular focus is in helping to keep communities vital and attractive to new residents and businesses—primarily because I’m a strong school advocate and schools need revenues that our businesses and residents can bring. Here’s what our family is doing:

  • Investing in our community – and that includes everything from choosing colleges close to home to vacationing and shopping locally.
  • Instead of buying clothing or gadgets that our kids don’t really need for Christmas, we’re going to support a home-grown, community resource that brings joy to residents and attracts business and support for the struggling city of Cleveland – we’re going to purchase Cleveland Orchestra tickets and take our family there for a Christmas gift we’ll enjoy in so many ways.
  • We’re purchasing regionally manufactured clothing, toys and as many food items as we can for a local family in need (something we do every Holiday Season).

There is probably so many other things that we can do to help our communities through this period. If you have ideas about helping local economies across the country, please share.


5 thoughts on “Rising to Meet Current Challenges as One Nation

  1. I share Kat’s enthusiasm for Sharon’s writing and the thoughts she so eloquently shares. I’m a small-town newspaper editor who believes all of us need to hang in there with local investments of time, money and involvement to give our new president-elect’s dreams some legs. Of all the elements of the past eight years that we need to replace is fear. It would be easy to hesitate often, criticize openly and express disappointment when our own ox is gored in the coming months and years. Sharon’s advice will lead to better times, if only at the hometown level, which is the foundation of our national economy anyway.

  2. I believe 100% in what recommendations you have given us to use, I am a big fan of giving back to your community and supporting the small town local shopping. This was an excellent guest post. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Very good! I also support your recommendations. For example, I shop as much as possible at the local farmers market rather than the grocery stores for my food.

    I would also point out, however, that national and even international people are also in need of help, and directly effect the bottom line at home.

    Every dollar of foreign aide the United States spends is a tax dollar, which is a dollar out of our pockets and out of our local communities.

    Every dollar spent on repairs to a failed infrastructure project in Minnesota is a tax dollar, which is a dollar out of our pockets and out of our local communities.

    My point, I guess is that, in addition to the wonderful steps outlined in this post, we should spend some time and money on that proverbial “ounce of cure” as well 🙂

  4. What a great post! Thanks Kat for asking Sharon to write. I think these are wonderful suggestions as well as kids will remember a night at the symphony more than another Christmas gift.

    As for Soren? I like him, but I don’t have a clue what he’s talking about. Tax dollars create jobs – at least here in the West. The entire economy of New Mexico is based on Tax related projects. So….

  5. An excellent post, with great input from all of the commenters, especially Soren and Claudia. The two of them are displaying the two very starkly different sides of spending our tax dollars.

    I am somewhere in between. I believe we need to spend to receive … I also believe we need to spend wisely and treat tax dollars as a serious investment, complete with a portfolio full of research.

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