Freedom Habit: Act

Granted, a lot of things — maybe everything — listed and discussed in other sections here are actions, things that we do. For example, readingĀ The Federalist is an action, and so is writing a letter to the editor of a local newspaper about an issue. So is attending a city council or school board meeting, either just to observe or to make a statement. For our purposes here, though, “Act” refers to doing things that get us beyond thinking, reading, and talking.

All these other things are crucial, but sometimes — habitually — we must get beyond all the talking. Talking doesn’t get my favorite candidate’s campaign fliers to every door in the neighborhood. Talking doesn’t replace the ride one or two of my neighbors need to the polling place. Talking is great, and discussion is wonderful, but someone still needs to volunteer at the local literacy center or soup kitchen. Most or all of us need to vote. Some of us need to run for office — I blithely excuse myself as unelectable — and a lot of us need to help good candidates.

Things to Do: A Sampler

Please suggest additional items for this list and useful materials you’ve found elsewhere — in the comments, of course.

  • Discuss an issue you care about with candidates for local political office or current leaders. (How is this different from Discuss, the Freedom Habit?)
  • Join a city committee and get to work.
  • Volunteer at the soup kitchen or the literacy center. (How it this a Freedom Habit? That’s a topic for another day, and the key word is Tocqueville.)
  • Shovel a neighbor’s walk. (How is this a civic activity or Freedom Habit? We’ll talk about that.)
  • Donate to a political campaign or a worthy non-profit organization.
  • Vote intelligently.
  • Give someone a ride to the polls.
  • Donate a useful book for citizens to your local library — if they don’t have it or could use another one, and if they’ll keep it for a while if you give it. See the Study habit for suggestions.
  • Help your homebound neighbor register to vote absentee.
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