Everyone has a response: Call your legislator. Grumble to your neighbor. Curse the media. (Or turn it off?)
Even no response is a response.
But everyone is wondering, "This world is troubled. What can I do about it?"
Here's what I did about it.
This week, I voted.
I voted for the most revolutionary institution in U.S. history.
I voted for our local library.
Our local library offers everything that we stand for: freedom of information, open access to all, privacy in the company of others, sharing of insight, teaching. Our library — your library — is the manifestation of who we are.
These libraries are the best because we vote them that way. They are well led by professionals who apply our tax dollars wisely.
Shouldn't they do more with less?
In a world where resources seem to dwindle by the day, shouldn't we deny funding to libraries and have them tighten their belts as we do at home.
Any tycoon could walk through a library and cut 15% of the cost.
Cut this. Cut that.
The reason I voted for our library is because I don't want our library to cut this and cut that. I don't want a library that cuts corners. I want our library to have all the funding to be able to live up to its glorious mission: to enlighten, engage, and inspire a community of lifelong learners. That won't get done by cutting 15% at every opportunity.
So, again: Libraries are the national proof that we are a civilization.
When Winston Churchill was asked if the government was willing to sell the art in the National Gallery to fund the war machine, he said, "No. No. No. No. That is what we are fighting for."
What are we fighting for? Why are we here? What is our purpose as a country?
The answers can be found in the library. Moreover, the answer can be found standing on the street, gazing up at the library. We are fighting for our way of life. We are fighting for our libraries, because they are the vehicle of democracy and the prize of freedom.
And we don't even know it.
What To Do About Washington?
Be A Library.
Go to the library, sure. But, more than that, be a library.
How can you be a library? Just join the mission: enlighten, engage, and inspire a community of lifelong learners.
Revolution. It starts at the library. And at the voting booth.