Love of a community drives some among us to speak out as their public contribution. Blogging is a thankless job very similar to taping a “Kick me” sign on your own back. The most common insult we hear from behind us is that we make a lot of noise and never step up and actually do anything.
I believe that most people underestimate the effort, time, personal risk, legal liability and long term value of single voice public commentary . Especially a voice questioning of the system as it currently is and most especially such a voice within a small community.
Nothing great is accomplished without some significant dissatisfaction with the status quo. We understand that people want to live in a peaceful happy place, so fomenting dissatisfaction is seen as negative by many. Yet, many who never speak up themselves, or “like” something we might post, those who never be seen publicly standing behind us, are the people who often quietly encourage us to continue doing what we do.
Sometimes a strong single reasoned voice can gather people and effect more change than a whole government. A voice can certainly change the self perception and goals of an entire community to be better for all. Rarely is that strong single voice the Churchill or FDR who can be listened to well enough to lead a community towards a new, difficult or different vision.
Those who do speak out, especially about doing things differently, are simply wired differently. We don’t disrespect the process of government, we attempt to improve it with our freedom of speech and public voice. But, we often don’t see holding office or bureaucracy as a place where new ideas can flow efficiently to a community or a country, instead it is a confining place that would restrict our freedom to think and speak openly.
Once confined within an elected office for a sentence of four years there is solidarity of caucus position of a small closed group defined behind closed doors and usually without significant transparency. To a free thinker it sounds like absolute hell being shackled by bureaucracy and muzzled by convention.
The lone wolves who speak among us attempt to bring their passion to interest and ignite the silent masses and government to action, a process that usually fails without persistence that defies reason. We may seem strange or dangerous to the apathetic or unaware. The majority chooses to be far too silent to ever change anything because silence screams satisfaction that we lone wolves don’t believe is possible given what we see.
To prosper, ideas and opinions require the tests of reason, fact and reality. Without meeting those tests lone wolves quickly discredit themselves and people drift away.
So, perhaps we should consider a government enlisting and following some of the ideas of the most credible lone wolves and free thinkers, especially those who are credentialed in a field or those have survived decades of speaking out without becoming completely disillusioned, conforming or believing that they might make great leaders if they’d just shut up and run for office.
For those driven by passionate interest, government office can be a sentence where the thoughts your mind says you need to express are silenced and muzzled to conformity of existing thinking.
What a community or a country needs is a competent government self assured and interested enough to listen to a diversity of voices. A government thinking enough to discern and sort the good ideas that they could implement for the broader benefit of the community. What a government might learn from the lone wolves is that we often survive criticism better than governments because we have thought out, researched, developed and truly believe in our own ideas.
We feel generally good about ourselves, so long as we speak we feel we contribute. We do these things of our own time and expense, we don’t want your thanks or money, we don’t need your approval, but when we have a good idea we’d appreciate your open support.
We need more vocal lone wolves and rational free thinkers who might form into or attract a larger pack of like minded citizens. To rebuild our community we need much more noise and many more ideas.