When government lets us down, it’s an enormous tribute to the American people to see individuals stepping up to affect their community in a positive way.
A perfect example is the owners of Denver’s Good Karma Ranch. A story in Friday’s edition detailed how Mike and Shelly Walsh plan to donate proceeds from this past weekend’s fall festival at their business to Catawba Springs Elementary, where their son is a student, to help the school purchase books. The school, as a result of funding cuts at the state level, doesn’t have the resources to purchase new books for its students. Pundits and politicians may try to say that public education in this state hasn’t been defunded, but those claims are deliberately misleading.
The point is that the Walshes saw a need, they saw an opportunity to do something about it and they did what they could do to help fix the situation. The reality is that more altruism like this is necessary in the time that we live in. Our government has consistently failed us, particularly at the federal level, time and again. This is not an accusation leveled solely at President Barack Obama or Republicans or Democrats. The problem is far larger than one person or one political party. It’s a comment on the divisive nature of American politics, where reelection and the appeasement of campaign donors is a higher priority than serving the interests of the voters.
The responsibility has now fallen upon the individual, like it or not. If schools need books, if a family needs food, if a road needs fixing (as in the case of Amity Lane in Iron Station), private individuals and businesses and nonprofits will have to take the lead on making this world a better place to live in.
The federal government may be shut down, but the people who are a very real force for good are still on the job.