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“A RESPONSE FROM CIVIL SOCIETY”
George Hegel proposed that the truth is found neither in the thesis nor antithesis but in an emergent synthesis which reconciles the two. This higher truth also reconciles the dichotomy of a man of both steel and velvet who at times can be quite stern but as resiliently needed, also be sensitive to the needs of others. I can embrace my enemy in love yet I can still abhor his aberrant societal behavior that seeks to tear asunder the bonds of the human pact.
Becoming a man or woman of steel and velvet prepares one to face the headlines of today that are replete with a buffet of issues ranging from the subprime debacle that has resulted in mass foreclosures to record unemployment exacerbated by the foregoing, and through it all we have come face to face with the demon in the abyss that lets us know that no one is coming to save us but us! What is the character of civic engagement in a democratic society and what is the common currency that compels us to buy into this debate. Robert Putnam depicts the reliance of representative government on a healthy civil society yet the inability of government to address fundamental social problems continues to gnaw at the heels of our consciences and there has to be a response from civil society and that response must address the inadequacies of the present pattern of failed responsibilities.
Community organizing, that living for the sake of others, solicits a membership base from a broad spectrum of the community that is concerned with the well-being of the community rather than a specific issue. Community organizing believes in building its leadership from the bottom up and through a prescribed methodology, transforms its citizenry into an urban taskforce for change. New skills are learned, abilities are honed and couch-potatoes become advocates. Cardinal to organizing is the belief, “Never do for others what they can do for themselves”. Rev. Eugene