A friend of mine, someone I hadn’t seen in awhile, commented on a Facebook posting of mine today. He asked how things were going in Syracuse, and since he has labored as an organizer, I laid the typical, world-weary organizer rap on him as a reply:
Things are limping along in Syracuse–more poverty than ever and less compassion because the upper and middle classes are feeling constrained as well. Unions fight to elect politicians who then ignore them when it counts. City government is going broke paying for city employees (police and fire) who refuse to live in the city–contributing to the decline of our tax base. You know–same shit, different day.
Too snarky, by a longshot. It’s all true–but somehow incomplete. I thought of a phrase that my wife used the other day: “So, what do we know?” It’s a nifty line that really resonated with me. I think it’s a great opener for a leadership meeting: short, snappy and demanding others to leap into the breach!
So, is my snarky reply all we know? Yeah, we’re facing a whole lot of problems in Syracuse. Financially, My job is running on fumes–the community organization I work for has no guarantee of surviving this coming year.
But . . . I still have hope. There are good people out there, fighting the good fight. I believe in our ability, working together, to turn things around. What do we know? Hope is worth fighting for. Here’s what I know right now:
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.