Response to President Obama’s Call for Individual & Collective Action for the Common Good

This is something that Democrats & Republicans, Liberals & Conservatives can work together on in the spirit of the unity in diversity which the President said is our true wealth and strength.

Below is a piece I wrote after President Obama's first election in 2009. We have accomplished some of the suggestions contained therein here in Cobb through the formation and activities of the Cobb United for Change Coalition; however there is still work to do. This is something that Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives can work together on in the spirit of the unity in diversity which the President said is our true wealth and strength.

Response to President Obama’s Call for Individual & Collective Action for the Common Good:


A: Stressbusters Town Hall Meetings“What is Causing Your Dis-Stress?”

B: “Solutions for Surviving & Advancing in Hard Times”

C. “Community T.E.A.M. Building: ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’ ”

The re-election of President Obama has inspired and called Americans of all backgrounds, including our elected and community leaders, to come together and seek solutions for our problems that do no harm to anyone and advance everyone, through acts of individual and collective action for the common good —as in Dr. King’s vision of our “network of mutuality”. Herein follows our response:

A: Stressbusters Town Hall Meetings“What is Causing You Dis-Stress?”

One way in which this can be done, especially on the local level, is to have inclusive community dialogues/town hall meetings with the goal of identifying the real issues and coming up with mutually beneficial solutions and compromises which satisfy most everyone — with the only ones “self-excluded” or “self-marginalized" being those who are not willing to dialogue, compromise and work together. For instance, let us get together and find out what the real or perceived problems people are having and help solve those problems, such as:

B: “Solutions for Surviving & Advancing in Hard Times”

  • "There are no jobs": This will likely be the big one (though it is not really true in most cases), so we’ll have a program or workshops to help unemployed people find work and connect with the jobs which are out there.
  • "No Healthcare": We’ll connect people to the free and sliding scale clinics out there — or open new ones and teach people prevention methods.
  • "Child/Parenting/School problems":  We’ll have programs and training to address these issues, and we can recruit and train grandparents and others to volunteer in the schools and with parents.
  • “No Money”: We’ll connect people to entrepreneur support services, cooperative saving and loan programs, as well as grants and social service programs.
  • “No Food”: Provide connections to food stamp program, food bank assistance, co-op gardens and help form Food Cooperatives.
  • “Housing Problems”: Cooperative housing programs and foreclosure prevention.
  • “Crime/Immigration/Terrorism”: Most of the above will ultimately solve the crime/immigration/terrorism issues if we build and maintain a spiritual foundation for each and every solution and approach, emphasizing the inherent dignity of each human being.
  • “Relationship Issues”: Again, most will be solved or prevented by addressing the other issues and by maintaining a spiritual perspective wherein we value and respect our own selves and each other. In reality, even and especially in hard times, relationships become stronger and healthier when people are working together in this spirit for the common good.

C. “Community T.E.A.M. Building: Together Everyone Achieves More”

As we assist and empower individuals to identify and address these issues, which they will do in small group, task force or team structures, they will learn and be empowered to form “Community T.E.A.M. s” which will help sustain the progress made and ensure the whole program becomes self-sustainable.

"In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality." 
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service relationship to humanity.”  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

To work with us on this program in Cobb or to start one in your area, contact:pilgrim1@mindspring.com or 404-573-1199.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John Himot December 07, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Diversity is about accepting all things no matter if you see them as good or bad. Sorry some things I can not and will not accept. I can show the Love that all of Gods creation is due but accepting all things through so called diversity is just not something that is in what I believe. PEACE.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino December 10, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Thanks John for your interesting comment. I don't see diversity as accepting all things but as accepting all people as equal and valid. And accepting the reality that there is diversity in everyone--and that we all see things in different ways, and no one has a corner on the truth or on reality---there is your reality, my reality and "reality". To me, if we really want to know the truth or reality of anything then we have to be willing to sit down with anyone and consider their viewpoints, as we all have a piece of truth and reality. As soon as we consider our "truth" or "reality" as greater than or more valid than an others, we appoint ourselves as a God...and that is a great, and sometimes dangerous, obstacle to the attainment of truth and progress.


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