Declaration of Service

No matter which way you voted or how you feel about the influence of your vote, president-elect Barack Obama will soon be simply President Barack Obama. This post isn’t written to romanticize a man’s journey into the face of adversity or stir up feelings either which way concerning the man who will be running our country tomorrow. This post is to encourage all of us to put aside whatever biases we have for or against a man and stand up for an idea. That idea is the improvement of the world, starting with America. Be The Change has launched a nation-wide movement encouraging citizens to stand up for this idea as well. They’re calling it the Declaration of Service.

The premise is that any person can digitally sign a pact promising to serve each other in several ways:  1) To serve 50 hours annually with a non-profit organization, 2) A full or part-time service with a national service program like AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Peace Corps or USA Freedom Corps, and 3) Active duty in the US Military, National Guard, or Reserves.

So what does that mean to the creative community? How can we be involved in making the world a better place? Well, for starters, we can all Sign the Declaration. By doing so we more than just decide to be a part of the solution, we put our name on it. Secondly, come up with creative ways to serve. They gave us three options to choose from, but (thankfully for us) they also gave an option to individualize your act(s) of service.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • If you are a visual artist, gather your artist friends and hold an auction on location at a local non-for-profit and donate a portion of the proceeds to helping their vision.
  • If you are a musician, go play some songs for people who are desperate for physical human interaction. Ask a staff member at your local homeless shelter or elderly care facility if you can have an hour or two once a week just to play music and talk to people.
  • If you have a skill you can teach, such as pottery or knitting, find out if you can teach a class at your local arts center.

There are so many ways we can use our creativity to not only express ourselves, but to do so with the benefit of others in mind. How else can we be creative and communal? Let’s hear some feedback.

posted by Ian Scott Paterson, co-architect


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