January 10th, 2014 // 10:00 am @ Oliver DeMille
It’s time for optimism in America. Right now.
I’m convinced that the best era of America is still ahead. And it’s time to start building it, even if Washington won’t, and even if the politicians are going to bring us both ups and downs in the years ahead.
When we turn on the news, we hear of debts ceilings, a $17 trillion national debt, deficits, credit rating downgrades, inflationary money, layoffs, political party anger and name-calling, leaders who won’t negotiate, government shutdowns, sequesters, defaults, international unrest and conflicts, and on and on.
It’s a bit overwhelming, and most people are either deeply frustrated or have decided not to follow the news too closely.
But this is only part of the story.
While those in Washington argue, over and over, about their latest Crisis of the Month, a lot of regular citizens have done something very important. They’ve realized that the future is up to them, and not to the politicians.
And the numbers of such people are growing. Some are getting more involved than ever before at the local level, and others are spending more time strengthening their families. Some are studying current events with real passion, and others are tackling history and the great classics in order to learn a lot more.
Still others are focusing on community projects, service, teaching the youth, and supporting charities that really need more support, and quite a few are increasing their entrepreneurship — building the economy for themselves and others instead of waiting for politicians to get their act together.
And make no mistake, when the regular people in America, Canada, and other nations realize that it’s up to them and then take action, it’s like rousing a sleeping giant. When the average citizen stands up and gets involved, like after Pearl Harbor or during the American Revolution, big things really happen.
Right now, the giant is just starting to stir. The signs are faint, but they are growing: Tea Partiers, Occupiers, protestors, bloggers, radio-show callers, “social medi-ers,” and above all, lots of newly-focused volunteers and entrepreneurs.
The people are beginning to feel the need to take their nation back, especially their economy. The future is bright.
Whatever Washington does, the leadership spirit in our homes will determine the years and decades ahead. Many experts have dubbed the 21st century “the China Century,” but in truth the reason China is growing is widespread entrepreneurship. That’s the real story.
And up until now, most freedom-lovers have argued that American entrepreneurs will bring back our economy — if Washington will just get out of the way. This message is now changing.
As the problems in politics keep increasing, more and more people are looking around, taking stock, and saying, “You know what? Washington might never get its act together. So, I guess it’s up to me.”
This is the spirit of enterprise, and there is almost no power in the world as strong as a people fully committed to free enterprise.
This is an exciting time. Instead of waiting for the politicians to free up the economy, we’re now making the great FreedomShift: Regardless of what Congresses and Presidents and Justices do, let’s build our families, communities, and the economy to a whole new level — and show Washington what to do. We’re the leaders now. When we lead, the politicians will have to follow.
If you haven’t joined this movement yet, today is a good time to start.
Build a business.
Or read a great classic.
Start a class for kids in your area.
Or begin attending all your city council meetings.
Make and follow a plan to double your savings rate.
Brainstorm. Identify where your passions are, and then take action to genuinely improve your life and the world around you.
Get started. The economy and society need you. It’s up to us.
What the media and politicians don’t realize is that this is happening. The worse Washington gets, the more people are taking personal action. It’s real. And it’s growing. Whatever Washington does, this is the movement that will make or break our future.
Smile. Laugh with a friend. Tell your kids a joke and giggle together. Tell them that the future is bright. And take action to make it true.
Now is a time for real optimism.
Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.
Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.
Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.