It’s easy to be discouraged with so much in our current government — from the all too quick passage of the current tax bill to the lack of movement on a Dreamers’ Act, the dismantling of the EPA web site and recent banned words on CDC budget applications. It can feel like piece by piece our democratic institutions and the very fabric of our republic are being pulled apart.  And yet, there is a sliver of hope in it if we can get through this tough period.

In less than a year the current administration has attempted to pull apart many of the key initiatives of the last.  Some have succeeded, but others have failed. But for those that have succeeded here’s the silver lining — if what was done in the past can be undone in the present, than what is being done in the present can also be undone in the future.  It’s not a guarantee. It takes diligence, keeping basic institutions functional, and staying ever vigilant, but what is being done can also be undone.

The sad news is that people will suffer in the interim – mostly poor people. The equally sad news is that rich people will make enough money with even just one year of tax breaks to make it all worth it to them.  Money once paid is rarely lost as most crazily wealthy people know one thing for sure — how to hold on to their riches.

Money makes money. It’s the compounding principle middle school math teachers tried so hard to teach us all. Giving it away can be more difficult and counter-intuitive, hence the concerted effort by the Gates Foundation and Buffets of the world to commit to giving away substantial portions of the their fortunes.

Related Post: Who’s Your Billionaire?

So as we go through this holiday season and consider resolutions to make for the new year, what can the average citizen do to push back against depression, feelings of overwhelm, and general malaise? Here are some suggestions:

  • Thank a Republican Senator. Twelve Republican Senators all voted against the Tax bill. All were from New York, New Jersey and California.  You can find the list here.  Google their name, find their DC or local phone, and call then to say thanks for voting no. They each took their share of criticism from local constituents this year.  Now is a good time to thank them for their “no” vote.
  • Act Local. Change always starts in the smallest places and usually at home. Can’t stand the national political stage?  Do something in your own backyard from donating to a very local cause,   The September 2017 O Magazine can be purchased online for $4.95 and has a Beginner’s Guide to Making a Difference. All the difference makers took local action.
  • Read Outside Your Comfort Zone.  Find a book by someone who is not your religion, not your race, or not from your country.  It can be fiction, or non-fiction, a biography or memoir. The key is to open yourself to someone’s very different perspective on life. Suggestions include:

A Still Relevant Post from Last Year:  5 Books for Christmas

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