First posted in July of 2012 – the memories are positive, and the sentiment is still true.
Imagine a busload of people who like Car Talk, get the jokes on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, and know the difference between Michael Feldman and Michael Perry.* This is a bus trip of people who are polite to each other, make friends readily, and enjoy intelligent conversation about issues that matter to you, er, them. Amigo and I took just such a trip a few summers ago. Sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio, the trip goes to tiny Bayfield, WI, where the group takes in a show at the Big Top Chautauqua.
A summer City Council meeting seemed like it was ripe for conflict. People attended to speak for the trees, speak for the right to raise urban chickens, and support an up and coming project that will turn a former country club and golf course into a large community garden. Despite the differing opinions, all in attendance had something in common.
Last, but never least, I attended two meetings at the local Organizing for America office. One was simply a monthly update of the citywide group, and the second a training in canvassing techniques for the upcoming campaign kick-off weekend.
What do these three have in common? I’ll give you a moment to think. Take a look at the OFA office windows from summer 2012 while you’re contemplating.
Remember the question? I asked you to consider what these three examples might share in common. It’s the people.
In each example, you’ll see a group of like-minded people. The Public Radio bus trip was thoroughly enjoyable because of the camaraderie. In the second example, all three issues had to do with sustainability and the city environment. In the third, all of the meeting attendees were motivated to help re-elect the President of the United States to a second term.
Seeking out like-minded people is one way to stay calm and focused during difficult times. We share experiences, we share attitudes, and we share priorities. These groups will meet again, I’m sure. Trees, chickens, Public Radio, and elections are topics that inspire passion. Finding focus for a passion can lead to making a difference in the world.
Go ahead, readers. Find like-minded people. Talk. Then come back here and tell me: what will you do to make a difference?
Michael Feldman hosts a Saturday morning show on WPR called Whadya Know?. Michael Perry hosts Big Tent Radio on Saturday nights. Good enough?They’re both comics, hosts, and fascinating people.