The last thing I want to talk about right now is politics.
To be honest, I just want to be done with it. Check out, hibernate for awhile, and then come back when things settle down and I can deal with it again.
That sounds great. But unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
Like it or not, things keep happening, decisions keep being made, whether I’m part of them or not, and the constancy of it all can be exhausting.
In the heat of the presidential election, I remember a radio program where the host spent most of the hour trying to convince first-time voters that they shouldn’t give up on politics forever after this year.
“It’s not always this bad,” he said. “Keep engaging, and keep caring. We need you to keep caring.”
Whenever I think about avoiding politics for awhile, I try to remember his words. Countries need people of all types to be listening, asking questions and considering the greater good.
Communities need people like that, too—people who are civically engaged.
But what troubles me about civic engagement is that it seems like such an angry experience where the squeaky wheel gets the oil. It's like the louder you complain, the more nasty comments you post on social media, the more likely someone is going to listen to you, and what should be civic engagement turns into a shouting match.
It’s rare that people get involved with politics when they simply have something positive to say. But if you think about it, why not?
Research shows that our minds discover more creative solutions when we're thinking positively as opposed when we're thinking negatively.
So it makes sense to be more positive about the way we approach politics, too, and if we do, we might come up with better solutions.
As of today, that's what HereSay is going to be about.
Up to this point, we've brought you stories about news and ideas around town, and we’re still going to do that. But we’re expanding our mission to help you be more engaged locally in a positive—or at least, constructive—way.
If you’re like us, you’ve probably been enjoying the new developments around town, or maybe you’ve had conversations with friends about how to make things better. That’s great.
But let’s face it, the process of writing letters to your local representatives seems a little cumbersome and outdated, especially if you just want to say, “Hey, that idea for apartments on The Landing seems cool.”
So we’d like to be your middlemen (or middlewomen), so to speak.
If you want to share an idea, a constructive criticism or a even a simple word of support with your local representatives, and you don’t want to do the dirty work of tracking them down yourselves, send us your thoughts, and we’ll pass them along for you.
YLNI has connections in our community, and we can get your ideas to the people who can use them to make a difference.
Find HereSay Post on Facebook, or tag @HereSayPo on Instagram. You can DM us or email, too, if you prefer. Whatever works.
There’s no time limit on this, so just keep us in mind as you go about your routines. Then when you have something to say, speak up.
As tempting as it can be to stay out of politics altogether, it’s important to remember that not doing anything is choosing to do something, too.
Northeast Indiana is growing and changing, and we need more upbeat voices in the conversation.
HereSay, in partnership with YLNI, is a bi-weekly blog about our say on what’s happening here. It is written by YLNI member Kara Hackett, and the opinions are her own. Photo by Matt Thomas. HereSay@ylni.org