Long before we had color TVs with remote control and a DVR box there was the black & white picture tube. Those days we had to turn a knob on the TV to change channels. After a while things began to get shaky when turning the knob where the picture became fuzzy or had lines across the screen. You would soon need a new TV set.
Those times are long gone in the age of handheld clickers and QLED sets. With the press of a button you can change channels and with the pre-installed factory settings you can select a picture view for different types of shows. That has become the new reality for how we experience in-home entertainment.
These days as we watch breaking news stories or trending hashtags on social media you may wonder what needs to change. One report might be about an incident of hate. Another revolves around an outburst of violence. And maybe even another points to issues of bias and bullying. In many cases, the events cause a massive police response or social media outburst.
Hey America, listen up! What we need as a response to these incidents might not be just another press conference or trending topic. It’s going to take a gameplan with a massive social response for us to see the problem, adjust the picture and update the set of social tools for a new reality. That’s the gameplan of the “See America In Color” (SAIC) essay contest and civic engagement campaign.
This massive social response needs to cover areas of purpose learning and civics education. As we prepare the next generation for the job skills of the marketplace, we must also prepare them with the life-smarts of the 21st century. When you read the ‘last notes’ or manifestos or social media footprint around some of these incidents, they send a message that’s less of a shoutout and more of a cry-out to America.
As it relates to civics education, we may have arrived at a point where some might prefer to vote for a reality show contestant than for a candidate running for public office. Nowadays it’s so much easier to be connected to your favorite singer than it is to be connected to a sense of civic duty.
There may even be a social disconnect that’s less about ‘likes & clicks’ and more about connecting history, family, culture, country and civic/social issues. In other words, we find ourselves needing a reboot in civics education so that citizens can download some new information for social awareness.
This would help to relieve the lost, lonely, leader-less feeling that drives people towards hate by default instead of towards hope by desire. In the old days when the TV picture became fuzzy, we’d jostle the knob or change the channel hoping things cleared-up. These days a ‘jostling solution’ might not be enough to improve the social picture. We’ll need to make some system-wide changes to create a better picture and better sense for living their best life.
When the Founders wrote the Declaration of Independence it spoke to a higher vision for the greatness of a nation. The pre-amble states “We holds these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they’re endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Well the SAIC ‘Declaration of Emergence’ speaks to a kind of service vision for a higher level of citizenship.
As we see the problem, adjust the picture and update the social tools with the help of SAIC we begin to restore light to America. We’ll begin to experience a ‘lights up’ (vs a flare up) feeling from the images we see. We’ll have a better picture of civic/social issues for greatness in service as citizens of the world. This might be the new way to be down, get down or step into the light of #CitizenShining moments.
You can help tackle these issues or support SAIC’s part in the massive social response at our crowdfunding page here www.gofundme.com/f/seeamericaincolor.
Tracks: Brandy ft. MC Lyte, Yo-Yo & Queen Latifah – I Wanna be Down – https://youtu.be/MTl_y-Nq1yo
Harry Styles – Lights Up – https://youtu.be/9NZvM1918_E