Thank you notes March 25, 2011
I wish we Americans institutionally said "Thank you." I wish, at the government level, thank you notes for participation in our most excellent country.
What would this look like?
Well... every candidate for any office should write 50 hand-written thank-you notes that would be mailed to people who voted in the election that the candidate participated in. "Thank you for participating in our democracy. Your participation gives you a voice, gives you power, and strengthens the things we all find important."
I think that everyone who receives a check from our federal government should send one thank-you note per month that would be randomly forwarded to a taxpayer. "Thank you for helping to fund my scientific research. Because of your tax payment, I am able to share the benefits of my knowledge with the country." "Thank you paying your taxes because they help fund my Army unit which is in basic training. I look forward to guarding our country and our constitution because of your help."
In our increasingly physically disconnected world... our world where cell phones and satellite news are replacing coffee shop conversations and human contact, perhaps the little bits of random reminders of how vast and interconnectedly important the facets of our nation are might help people think about how we are great because of the connections... and the cost of slashing budgets on teachers and police and education and hospitals and the elderly and basic research and roads and firefighters and all the other things that are short term valuable and long term investments will harm all of us.