The shape of a person’s soul most likely gets cast by the deeds they do while they’re alive. That’s why I like hanging around with people who care about what’s happening in their communities right now, this minute. Most of them don’t expend much mental energy on fantasies of rewards or glory. They’re too busy making a difference in the present. They’ve got boundless civic souls.
What’s in a civic soul? Lots of stuff that matters. A junkie’s urgency each day to get a fix on what’s happening in politics, society and the economy. The audacity to question accepted assumptions, turn conventional wisdom on its head and say out loud what others would prefer to ignore. Civic souls come equipped with a hardheaded insistence on getting the facts right and then standing by them. They’ve got the guts to persist in the face of endless foolishness, venality and greed and the courage to bounce back from defeat with a shuck, a chuckle and renewed determination. They model an astonishing forbearance to resist the narrow lure of “issues” our political culture would slot us into, favoring instead the holistic nature of a community as an entire system in need of balance. They’ve got that twitchy urge to take a gamble and start something meaningful from scratch. At Community Partners we revere civic souls. We believe in the importance of place and invoke the power of people and communities to chart their own destinies.
Our faith lies in one simple commandment: Act for others now.