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“Think global, act local.” Write a post connecting a global issue to a personal one.

Most of us are confined to acting locally. We can do this in keeping with the larger context of our community, our country, and our earth. When this saying originally was coined, it related to global ecology and sustainability, but I think it can be applied to all aspects of life and how we think of ourselves in the great scheme of things.

Am I a cog, or am I the waterwheel? The truth is, I am a small part of the whole cycle of life, both as a human being and as an inhabiter of the earth. Even though I am a cog, I have an important function, and without me and others the wheel doesn’t turn, or it turns in a jerky out-of-kilter fashion.

Today, I am more concerned with how acting locally relates to the bigger world political picture. As an individual I am powerless over how politics are conducted, and presently, I am not happy about how my representatives are doing their jobs either. I always vote; that’s the one way I have of participating in the democratic process set out by the Constitution. It would be wonderful if more people voted; I hate it when some elections only draw about a third of the voting pool.

I don’t fully believe what I read in the papers or on the internet and hear on TV — it’s never the full story and usually doesn’t provide the background to understand the story in context. That’s where self-education comes in; reading more and comparing more. What’s most likely the truth? What makes sense? What can I do about it?

My complaint is that there are some very good ideas out there about why and how the political climate should change, could change to be more effective and responsive, but we get the same-old same-old from politicians. But never before (to my knowledge) have we had such divisive leadership with such a lack of clear goals and plans. Imagine a speaker of the house purposely not putting hundreds of bills up for a vote just because he doesn’t want to give the opposition any chance of success. That’s contrary to his Constitutional role.

The world is in chaos and we dilly-dally about global warming, equal pay, women’s rights, economic and social solutions to terrorism, while people are being killed with no regard for the value of their lives. They are simply labeled and shot or knifed.

Enough. I’m worried, but all I can do is vote, raise children with a religious and moral compass, and stay informed about what is really happening in the world. I can complain when my public schools act in a biased way or unfair way, and I can watch what’s going on in my immediate town, county and state and try to affect those politicians with letters and calls and comments. I can support organizations that reflect my views, and speak out when I disagree.

Cogs, widgets, and zeros and ones are parts of something greater. I should not let myself be weighed down with a feeling of impotence, but act in ways that makes small differences which may affect greater change. I’ll try to remember this.