Saturday, July 28, 2007

Acting on that which we blog about

Everyone who reads my blogging work knows that I have a passion for this-I like to think that in some small way, what I am writing here is making a difference somehow, somewhere, and in some way for the better. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but I do expect to be heard. One thing I have learned over the course of doing this for a good while now is that it helps to actually be involved in the community so that when you write about issues, people of influence actually read and "listen".

For my own part, I dispatch for our Volunteer Fire Department here in White Pine and handle logging all the calls into the national fire database (not easy work, mind you), I have also been involved in several political campaigns, and in addition to helping Mike Faulk win a seat in the State Senate next year, I just might be working on a small campaign of my own. I am also a member of Knights of Columbus Council 6730 in Morristown, where I serve as Deputy Grand Knight and (as a consequence) am involved in a myriad of community projects there.

I'm not saying all of this to toot my own horn, but am pointing out that because I do things in the community, when I say something on this blog, people read it and they hear about it-and there is some small level of notice because people who know me know that my words are backed up with everyday action.

That's one reason I have a tremendous respect for bloggers on the Left like Sharon Cobb, Sean Braisted, and the Cracker-and why those folks are proudly on my blogroll. Even though I profoundly disagree with their politics, these are people who have backed up their words with actions and they are doing things to try and serve their communities in a very active way. I know that Sean is involved with the Young Democrats and involved campaigns in spite of his busy work schedule. Sharon is a real woman-about-town in Nashville Democratic circles-if there's a cause she believes in and she can help, she's there. We have Jessica's Law in Tennessee today in no small part because of the persistence, stubborness, and hard work of Sharon Cobb. The Cracker is a former Executive Committeeman who still dives into Shelby County politics and Lord knows what else.

These people are doers.

Similarly, people on the right such as Bill Hobbs, Stacey Campfield, Terry Frank, Brian Hornback and Rob Huddleston, are also doers and not merely talkers. They don't just believe in the cause, they've stepped out and acted in some way for the community to try and make a difference. We do have a problem in the blogosphere on both the Right and the Left with people who want to say their bit in the blogosphere but do little to affect the reality of things in their community and in the wider world on the ground. This may be for a number of reasons: Everyone (myself included) is busy with the daily grind of life, and in my case, there are times when I have bitten off more than I can chew. I am also willing to concede when another person has had experiences that I have not that are going to alter their thinking on something or other.

We are fortunate to have a growing blogging community in Tennessee that is becoming more and more influential. Note that the most influential among them tend to be those who act on the convictions about which they proudly write in ways both great and small for people to see-and to know they mean business.

My challenge to all of our East Tennessee political bloggers would be to find a little time to act in the community on the things you write about. Not only does it make your blogging work more rewarding, it also really feels good to know that you are acting on what you believe and not merely running your computer.

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