Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Civic Engagement: Your right and duty as an American !

Getting involved, Make a difference, volunteer, become apart of, etc.

These are the terms that are immersed into our societal conversation. You see these phrases in billboards, brochures, here them at speeches and pep rallies  But do we know what they really mean to each and every one of us?  As a citizen of this country, as a fellow member of society and as a diligent neighbor in my community, I have learned that in order to have a safer, cleaner, and respectable world, it is imperative that I always do my part to ensure that not only I get to continue to enjoy the quality of life that I am accustomed to, but that the generations to come are just as fortunate as well.  A couple of days ago, I had the distinct privilege to here First Lady Michelle Obama speak.  I came expecting to here a standard political push on how Florida should vote for this next presidential election, I left the speech as a better person, a better woman and a better human being.

Mrs. Obama candidly spoke about the opportunities that she had been afforded because of her being able to go to college and to make something of herself. For those of us who have been blessed to seek out this opportunity and have reaped it's reward, we understand first hand what it is like to go to college, then to progress forward in our careers and our lives.  We also know first hand that those who go to college also are afforded opportunities that wouldn't have even been prevalent in our lives had we not done so. Mrs. Obama then emphasized on something that many talk about but often times many forget; reaching back and giving back.  She stressed how once you have obtained success to not just go on about your life and forget those behind you but to make sure you reach back and help others in need just like you were helped.  Mrs. Obama's words rang in my head all night after I left that speech.

Being born in this country afforded freedoms that others may not have been able to have, being the first one of my parents children to graduate from college as well as a citizen who has consciously made a choice to immerse my life into service, I am keenly aware of what it means to " get involved ".  My commitment to civic engagement and social change came from people imparting into my life at a very young age a wealth of knowledge and opportunities that awoke me to the possibility of a better life and better world outside the constructs of my impoverished, crime ridden neighborhood.  But these possibilities were shown to me right in my neighborhood, right in my world.  This is why Mrs.Obama's statement left such an imprint on my brain and my heart.  For I am the product of what happens when people choose to reach back into where they came from and make a difference by getting involved, making a difference by volunteering their time and resources so that the future becomes apart of something great while feeling the responsibility of making their world a better place right where they are.  I made  a promise to myself, and to my Creator that I " HAVE TO" give back because someone made this conscious decision to do the same for me.

So no matter how you choose to get politically involved, make for certain that you are being actively involved in the process of make our neighborhoods, cities, countries and ultimately our world a better place for the generations now and those to come.

Until next time Peace and Blessings


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