Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I want to go local

We're living in a globalized world and I'm working for a global company and I follow primarily national news and I shop mostly at stores with global reach and I hardly know my neighbors and most of contact my friends on facebook more than I do in person and my family mostly lives all over the country.

And I can relate to this:

"I love the View From Your Window contest. But not because I have a snowball's chance in Hades of guessing the location. But because I don't. One thing the contest gives me is a complete awareness of A) Just how smart your readers are (myself excluded) and B) They've been places I've never been to, and are in places where I am not. The world comes to the Dish and suddenly I'm painfully aware of how untraveled I am."

But just because you've traveled doesn't mean you're smart and just because you have four kids (soon), one income, and don't leave your city as much as you'd like and when you do its mainly to visit family, doesn't mean you're not smart.

I voted today in the primaries and these local elections mean something. The Corporation Commission has a say in how much your utilities cost, for example. Your state legislature, governor, and school administrators affect the quality of your local schools. The treasurer, legislatures and governor affect how well state funds are managed. All of this matters, tremendously.

I spent a lot of time last night trying to come up with educated decisions because the primaries matter. In at least one key election (county attorney) there is no Democratic challenger, and Rick Romley is by far the superior choice. But the fact is I waited until the night before the election to start paying attention. And each election deserved more time and research than I spent on it.

But hardly anyone voted at all, probably because this information is not in front of them often enough.

I really want to go local. Find ways to leverage global technologies, like google, facebook, paypal, eBay, etc. to build applications that matter locally. I want to frequent more local businesses. I want to get to know my neighbors more profoundly. Ultimately, I would love to work for a local, small company.

And travel is nice. But if you travel too much, perhaps you never notice the gems hidden all around you. I read this novel recently that made the point that even in the most rural city, they still have a library - so rich in information that you could never absorb all of its contents in a lifetime.

How many people living in the Phoenix area have visted The Heard Museum, The Phoenix Art Museum or the other many museums that scatter our valley. Or more poignantly, have you been to the First Friday art walk to see what your local artists are up to?

My only point is that you could never leave the state and see some mind blowingly beautiful things.

I love to travel, don't get me wrong, and I hope to get more opportunities to do so. But I think there are so many problems to be solved, lives to touch, and opportunities to take advantage of in one's own family, neighborhood, and community to fill many lifetimes.

So, I have too much globalism in my life. I want to go local.

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