Wednesday, July 23, 2008

12-Step Program for Detroit: Step Three

Welcome back to our 12-Step Series on how we, as Detroiters can bring healing to our City ourselves. We are more than our fractured leadership. We are better than the media often portrays us. We determine what our City will be and can be.

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God"...
Most 12-Step Programs are God-focused; this series of posts will not be. The 12-Step Programs started with Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s, and have been very successful. The foundation of the 12-Step Programs is to focus on one issue or problem and to overcome denial of the problem and distractions that might keep one from overcoming or fixing the problem.

While acknowledging the value and importance of God in many peoples' lives, and giving due respect to the principle tenets of the original 12-Step Programs, in this series of posts, we are going to focus on the power within ourselves to bring about the changes we desire.

Here in Detroit, the main problem seems to be that of dysfunctional leadership. Between the dual scandals of the Detroit Mayor's Office and the Detroit City Council, as well as the continuing problems with the Detroit Public Schools, it would seem almost hopeless that the leadership and resulting non-accomplishments of any city's main institutions could keep Detroit afloat, much less thriving.

But the purpose of this series is to admonish us to take steps ourselves to make Detroit the City it should be. In coming weeks, I will be publishing some of the comments from you, from us about ideas for using our own power to bring about positive change. Start thinking about it...

What power do you, what power do we have? What can you, what can we do besides wring our hands and complain? We, meaning those who live and/or work in Detroit can do several things...

1) Make our leaders accountable. That means informing ourselves on what should be done by a certain leader or group of leaders, and then taking steps to make sure that those things are done. In our system of government, the leaders work for the people, not the other way around. They are public servants; we are the "bosses"! I would love to read in the comments section your ideas for reminding our leaders that they work for us...not for themselves.

2) Work to make your neighborhood better. Detroit is a beautiful collection of neighborhoods, but not all neighborhoods are beautiful. Saying that we are in tough economic times here in Detroit is an understatement, but what can you, what can we do to improve our neighborhoods? Have you noticed that vacant lots or medians on boulevards haven't been taken care of by the City recently? You and your neighbors, we, might have to mow and clean up the trash ourselves. I would love to read your ideas in the comments section for helping to keep your neighborhood beautiful.

3) Work with a child or group of children not your own. The children are our future, and even if you don't have school-aged children yourself, what happens with Detroit's children and the Detroit Public Schools affect you both now and in the future. There are many direct and indirect ways for you to help out a child or group of children not your own. I would love to read in the comments section your ideas to directly or indirectly help Detroit's children be the best they can be.

Remember, when leaving your comments, we already know what the problems are, we are seeking solutions; and not just any solutions, but solutions that you, that we, can bring about. I look forward to hearing from you, from us!

(All Pictures courtesy of Google Images)

Shameless Plug for my husband's blog: Read The "D" Spot...

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