There once was a time when people did everything in the neighborhood that needed to be done and made sure everyone got what they really need. Then problems grew bigger and many needed more than friends could do and neighbors could give. So we created government agencies to bridge the gap.
Then government services got big. They were hard to manage and even harder to pay for. As we counted on state, county and federal programs to meet our needs, people didn’t help each other so much anymore. But they did work hard to pay for services helping children with disabilities, the elderly, workers out of work and soldiers wounded in battle. And there was still more to do.
So churches, synagogues and nonprofit charities provided family counseling, addiction recovery, preschool education and job training. Charitable giving helped the homeless, the hungry and people coming out of prison. But donations weren’t enough. So businesses made grants for research to cure diseases, help young people in trouble and support the arts. More was still needed for disaster relief, medical expenses, protection of life, animals and all creation.
As economic times became difficult, the burden of doing what’s right and paying for it grew heavier. To be sure that everyone getting paid for doing good was doing it well, requirements and regulations came about that along with the demands of fundraising distracted groups from their first mission.
Could there be a better way?
What if community groups didn’t have to beg? Maybe corporate profits could be used for doing good by those who need it. What if profits from money spent in a neighborhood could stay in the neighborhood for improving it? And all this could happen at a grass root level that keeps track of what is needed most and what’s being done to meet those needs.
If we could partner with businesses while avoiding the pressure of marketing and greed, if social networks could be made stronger and have fun earning needed funds by spending and serving together instead of being targeted and squeezed for more money, maybe we could become citizens again. Citizens of a new world formed by intentional involvement in a commercial enterprise that values integrity, relationships, and generosity. With an agreement for mutual benefit aimed at the common good, maybe we can find a way to do everything that needs to be done and make sure everyone receives what they really need again.
Be a better citizen by practicing the kind of innovative capitalism that supports the work you stand for, the groups you know that make the world a better place for everyone and give you a chance to be part of it. When you become more than a consumer and work together with others, you support local business and multiply financial resources coming from corporations that are glad to make possible the great things you’re doing to change the world.
Today it takes courage, creativity and cooperation to be a good citizen. Are you ready to see what a few thousand of us can do together?