I think that the election of Barack Obama has the potential be a real turning point for the country. He's got a huge number of problems to address, and we all hope that he's successful in getting our economy back on solid footing, resolving the wars we are involved in, and re-establishing a positive image for the US in the world.
But, we also need to invest back in the US. I am not talking about financial investment. Some of us have the means of doing that, and some of us don't. But, almost all of us has the potential to invest some time volunteering for a cause to make someone else's life better. Doing this won't solve all of our domestic problems, but it would make a big difference.
We all honor the men and women who serve in our armed forces. They are making a sacrifice, and perhaps the ultimate sacrifice, to help keep us safe. I don't always agree when our politicians have deployed our troops, but I have the utmost respect and appreciation for the serice to our country that the members of military give to all of us.
We also need to honor volunteers who pitch in to help local charities that impact those worse off than us. Even better, we should all dedicate some of our time to volunteer ourselves. Almost all of us dedicate a pretty significant chunk of our time to recreation. I won't get into a discussion of the realtive merits of various types of recreation, but why not dedicate 10% of your recreation time to a cause you support? You may find it to be just as relaxing and much more rewarding.
Service Nation is an effort to turn Martin Luther King Day into a national day of service. Not all of us can volunteer on that day, but why not spend some time that day to investigate and commit to a volunteer opportunity that fits your schedule and interests? I've got commitments to several charities and causes. Although it is sometimes difficult to juggle the time, it is always rewarding to do the work and see the impact it has on others. Check out the voluteer opportunities on the Service Nation site or at my personal favorite, good2gether. You'll find that volunteering is fun!
Also, see the head of Service Nation on last night's Colbert Report: