I ask you to be citizens.? What an amazing construction of six life-altering words spoken during President George W. Bush?s inaugural address.
Six words that the country needed to hear, even though I have a feeling that not many people nowadays understand the weight these six words carry.
The man that so many, including myself, thought was a bumbling ignoramus spoke from the Capitol building and urged those listening to develop in themselves ?good will and respect, fair dealing and forgiveness.?
Keeping those words in mind, I look around to the people of my community and my country and unfortunately, all I see are blank stares. It seems as if people are wondering what the new president meant by all of these hopeful calls to service.
Answering this question poses a problem.
The problem ? and it is a hefty one ? is that for a good portion of the last 15 years the country has been going through somewhat of a down cycle.
There have not been many positive momentous occasions around which the American people can rally, similar to when man first set foot on the moon.
Something like that was emblematic of the true temperament of American culture throughout history.
Today, rallying cries are heard but they are attached to divisive, self-centered issues that only hope to engorge power to one person or group, while stealing it away from another.
The divisive craving for power has produced alarming results. There have been an increasing number of murders, rapes, thefts and road rage over the last few years.
Our society ? which now more than ever glorifies the individual ? is slowly becoming less and less respectful of tradition and more and more eager to step on the backs of those who are mindful of the welfare of the community.
Even supposed goody-two-shoes teen idols are making headlines by throwing off their wholesome pristine images and shocking parents and community leaders by soliciting pseudo-sexual favors, while wearing not much at all and performing raunchy dance moves in order to increase their own personal fame and fortune.
Our new president, through his six-word sentence, hopes to change this.
Being a citizen is more than just paying taxes and voicing a dissenting opinion about a new jail being built within sight of your back door.
Being a citizen is actively taking a role in your community and seeing that hedonism does not get a stranglehold on the present and the future of your town.
If you cannot see yourself in a leadership role in government, then try something simple like taking a bowl of soup that you made yourself down to one of your elderly neighbors or sick hallmates. The idea is to do something that is out of the ordinary in these sparse times.
Bush called on us, on all of us, whether we are Democrats or Republicans, to reenact a basic tenet of American culture ? the power of our citizenry.
All I can say is ?Where do I sign up??