Friday, April 13, 2007

Wondering Where We've Been?

That's funny. We were wondering the same thing about you!

Community isn't a spectator sport. And still we spend much of our time on the sidelines, waiting and watching.

We wait, as if for that second coming -- or the first -- and we watch, as our quality of life vanishes before our very eyes.

And what of our priorities, not only here on Long Island, but around the world?

While our pockets are being picked by local government -- paying for health care coverage for the likes of the D'Amatos -- we concern ourselves with the paternity of Anna Nicole's baby. [According to Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, "The fight ain't over yet!"]

The racial and gender divide in our country widens -- evidenced by the inane comments of a "shock jock" [The White House issued a statement, President Bush saying, "Not everyone on the team had nappy heads," and Senator Joe Biden took time out of his busy schedule to call the Rutgers women's basketball coach "articulate."] -- and yet, we make hay over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's efforts to at least open a dialogue with world leaders who balk at peace initiatives and act against the will and wishes of people who cherish liberty and human rights. [The next stop on her tour: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.]

Crazy world, isn't it? The President says there's no proof sufficient to connect pollution with global warming. The Pope professes a lack of evidence sufficient to demonstrate that evolution is more than a theory. And Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray apparently spends more time hiding in caves, trying to avoid public scrutiny, than Osama Bin Laden.

Truth is, we've become complacent. Immune to news of what truly impacts upon us, from sub-Saharan genocide and famine to the poisons we apply to our lawns and pour into the aquifers.

Instead of concerning ourselves with that 5-mile wide meteor on a collision course with Earth, and actually doing something to divert it, we are sitting on our family room couches, watching American Idol or the talking heads on Fox, calling to our wives, "Honey, there's no more toilet paper in the hall bathroom."

And speaking of saving the planet, Earth Day is on the immediate horizon. Yet another opportunity to recycle, renew and reuse, and another chance for the New York State Legislature to finally pass that bigger, better bottle bill, so we can begin to reuse all those water and juice bottles that are clogging landfills and piling up on the sides of roadways everywhere.

If we are going to make a dent -- let alone a difference -- in improving our lot as Long Islanders, as New Yorkers, as citizens of the world, we have to get ourselves into the game.

Be a participant in the day-to-day of your community and your town. Empower yourself and your neighbors.

Join your local civic, try out a season or two of organic gardening, voice your concerns to your elected officials about the property tax, hefty lifetime benefits for part-time government workers, and the burden of those special taxing jurisdictions, and for goodness sake, READ THE COMMUNITY ALLIANCE BLOG!

Taking a look is free. Getting involved, PRICELESS!

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