This morning’s thoughts came after readiing about Beirut’s assassination (one is always more aware of a people, once a country is visited), and the law suits around Moral Mondays; its all about change and suffering. When people suffer, change occurs! Change is never pleasant nor the method of getting there easily agreed upon. And, as our Governor knows (see his Facebook page) no one likes a change agent. Not even I, a registered Republican, agree with the solutions to the challenges facing education in our public schools, though some of the objectives, not necessarily the means, were being asked for when I was in public school administration. Teacher pay is still an atrocity!
Constructive change and the cost of change are the two big items that engaged my thinking this morning. My wife and I are currently involved in an initiative called Love Out Loud (LOL). Now in its fifth year, LOL is a phenomenal collaboration of churches from across our city, housed at the Benton Convention Center. The collaborative costs about $36000, with about a third still to come in if interested (http://www.christmasforthecity.com/). Of course, that budget does not include the huge number of volunteer hours that go into every year for such an event.
LOL is a means of celebrating this phenomenal season, serving those “less fortunate” who may not otherwise have the opportunity for such a gala event, while engaging those who control the change that would truly reduce the challenges of those under served. By those who control the change, I am not talking about politician’s, municipal administration, nor even pastors, though they are influencers for sure. It is the scores of folk that make up our community that control change, though a few loud influencers often seem to control them.
Yes, those who truly control change, are the masses; when they become willing to invest their whole lives individually and collectively in transformation, change occurs. Without human capital and its full commitment, change is only an emotional conversation with intermittent activities funded by a few, and at best, feel good to the participants in the moment, leaving little difference outside of the window of time to plan, execute and clean up!
Its all about commitment and cost, whether it be Moral Monday, a Governor willing to offend both parties, or something as engaging as Love Out Loud. Having the commitment and resources to push through to any significant change beyond the moment and into the critical policy modifications required within our institutions, whether state government, church or local municipalities, has a much higher price; in cases like Beirut, lives are often lost.
Don’t mean to go radical, nor lose what base of support I have left, but bottom line, I am wondering how deep the commitment to change is in our community, our churches and in fact our nation. Change is coming whether we like it or not. Whether it be another swing politically, a fiscal shift that some say could make 1929 look like a cakewalk, or a group of leaders centrist enough to pull a following from both extreme polarities, saying to the influencers, “enough is enough!”