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The Ecology of Democracy, Chapter 6 - Your point of view - 2

Hello Everyone,

Our classroom discussions have centered on a chapter you were assigned from The Ecology of Democracy.

This is a gentle reminder that your posts and responses are due by Monday, November 27th by midnight. Keep in mind, you are to write a well thought-out, meaningful reflection paper about your group project  and respond to two of your classmates papers, for a minimum total of three posts.

Remember, we are interested in your original thoughts and ideas! This assignment is designed to get you to think critically and engage in a civil discussion with your classmates about the democratic process of problem solving as it relates to you in the classroom and in the community.

Please do not wait until the last minute; post early and often. Each post will be graded based on the quality of the content. Your post should cover some aspect of the chapter you are reading including the problem, process, program and projected outcome. Please use this link to enter the website http://ecologyofdemocracy.org/.

You will make your posts in the classroom conversations area; under the thread The Ecology of Democracy Your point of View-2. You can also receive up to 20 points extra credit by answering the thread question: How do you understand the role of citizens or the citizenry in a democracy?  If you have not registered, you will need to do so. Feel free to catch me in class or shoot me an email if you have any questions.

Best

Comments

Mguerrero's picture

I feel like there are many pros and cons to getting involved in a particular/any situation, but the pros definently outweigh the cons. at the end of the day, we are all one, we are all human, and we live in this one world together. We have to work together to make the best of it. We have to learn to put ourselves in others shoes, and understand others points of views. If we do that, then like the article said, we will all benefit as a whole, which is most important. Obviously it is always harder to do than said, but trying is one step closer to becoming unified and living in a better envioronmrnt, than doing absolutely nothing. If you don'tt speak your mind, or state your opinion, you will keep filling your cup, and eventually it will just explode. 

Mcampbell's picture

I love how you worded that we are all one, like we were put on this Earth together. If we constantly fight each other, how are we to fix the bigger problems. Like you said, it's alwasy easier said than done, but maybe if people start getting involved at younger ages, it could kick start a change... If we get younger generations into the mindset that what they do matters and that everyone else in this world matters, too.

Mparks's picture

I like how you demonstrated that people need to bring each other up and see what other people see from a different perspective. I think if people were more considerate to each other's views and values that the world would be a better place. We all have to make decisions but like the article brings out, we may make decisions and still not necessarily mean that there the right ones. We all should try and think of each other's feelings more often.

Myager's picture

I agree with the chapter in the sense that many individuals do not get involved in different communities and organizations because they are not informed enough to care about them. I think that when people are not informed on issues, then they seem to think that it doesn’t effect them enough to put time into. This is especially true when it comes to young people and politics. Out of any other age group, 18 to 24 year olds have the lowest voter turnout rate in the country. Much of this is due to the fact that young people believe that their vote will not make a difference or that they will not be effected by the outcome either way. However, if young people do start to get involved, then they could make a difference. A solution to this long standing issue could be to get schools involved in politics more. Because schools are one of the biggest influences in young people’s lives, informing them in an unbiased way could give them the information they need to motivate them to get involved. This could be done by having political clubs reach out to students more, or by getting their attention with issues that young people care about. Because the millennials will grow up to be the older generation one day, it is important for them to get involved early to make a difference!

Mkostin's picture

I agree wholeheartedly! It's terrifying seeing our generation only concerned with their next pleasure or with the next fad or with recent irrelevant pop culture. If as many people knew the details of law, politicians, and their resective politics as they do the Kardashians... we'd have an outright rebellion. It's soooo refreshing seeing someone caring about politics and their and my future. I'm apart of two downtrodden groups so it's necessary to get involved and downright stupid to not. I also agree that schools should show unbiased political basics. It can be seen that the sentiment of the "government is by us and for us" is rapidly changing to "us and the government" and history has consistently showed where that leads. 

Mfritz's picture

I totally agree with this. One day this generation will be the ones running the country and we need to be informed about what is going on in our communities and around the world. If we arent, we cant do anything to change what is happening. We can't change the world if we dont know what needs changing !

Mshumpert's picture

It is true that the things that are important to our well-being are common to most everyone which include freedom, equity, and safety. While Maslow's hierarchy of needs (food, water, and shelter) are important, it takes these political imperatives such as freedom, equity, and safety to be able to attain Maslow's hierarchy of needs. For example, freedom would allow us to do whatever we want including eating whatever we want or drinking whatever we want. Freedom is probably the most important need because if we are not free then we would be limited in what would be able to do. No human deserves to be treated like they are owned. They are their own person and deserve free will. If we don't have freedom, then we cannot grow as a person because freedom helps us to express our creativity and authentic selves. Freedom leads to a higher quality of life. Think of the old times when slavery took place. African Americans were not free. They had to do work for slave owners and they were controlled, and many slaves lived terrible lives thus a lower quality of life. Equity also matters just as much. This country's motto is that "everyone should be created equal." Today, everyone in America is not really created equal. There is still racism going on with African Americans after a long battle of achieving civil rights. You've got policemen killing African American children and not being convicted for it. Women are not being paid the same salary as men for the same job. There is inequality going on. As a whole, this country needs to focus on the need of equality. All of us just want to feel accepted in society which is why this is a huge issue. This country is divided because of this and this enables minorities and other people to become involved in the political process. Lastly, safety is a huge need. Everyone wants to feel safe within their country from harm. We want to live in an environment where we won't be hurt. For example, people who live in a dangerous neighborhood with a high crime rate is going to want alot of police forces present. Take the Flint Water Crisis for instance. Many people are enraged at the governor for their poisoned water supply. There are children who have high lead counts in their blood. As a result, Flint hasn't become a very safe place to live because it is in a state of emergency. People value safety, and it is our most basic need. This is why I think that Maslow's hierarchy of needs is inaccurate.

Mshumpert's picture

While becoming involved is important, the ability to exercise sound judgment is just as important. There are many things that may affect us and how we react to a certain issue. A speaker will try to convince us that their opinion is correct through methods of persuasion. Some will use facts and others will appeal to us by emotion for example through fear which does not particulary allow us to make sound decisions. In order for us to make sound decisions, we have to be informed correctly and educated on a certain issue before we can truly take a position. In today's society, it is so annoying when someone comments and gives their opinion on a controversial issue, event, or figure without truly backing up their statements with good evidence and reasoning. Literally, people are commenting on things they have no knowledge on or topics they don't know about, and this can be irritating. Another prime example include young, new voters out there voting on particular issues not knowing what they are voting for because these young people aren't being informed citizens. They are not following up with the current issues that are going on in society. Another thing that we as a society should focus on is keeping up with every issue. We can't just be involved in the issues we are interested in. We have to be involved in every issue in order to be an educated, informed citizen. Because if everyone is becoming involved with issues other than the issues they are interested in then the society as a whole is improving and the world is becoming better. If we focus on all issues, then we can change and turn the world around for the better. As an example, if we only focus on issues such as racism, gender inequality in the workforce, veterans affairs, the military, or the wage gap, then we aren't focusing on the other things such as health care, education, the environment, etc. If we can focus and become educated in all issues, then we can make change happen in all those sectors. We can combat the crisis of global warming if we become informed and educated on it. That's why be active and informed citizens of society is so important. We can make change happen if we come together as an elite group of people.

Mcampbell's picture

I honestly thought this was a super awesome article. These days people don't take as much pride in where they are from and personally, I think that's directly linked to the state of our country today. Maybe if we all stepped up a bit more and took care of our home we could change things around and be more adament in getting the world we want becasue we will have the sense of pride.

Mparks's picture

I completely agree with you, I think it people would open there eyes and get past there problems we could make progress. We need to start looking at each other like we all are a family, because at the end of the day we all are facing close to the same problems. People should be more involved even if they do not like politics to make a sacrifice for the greater good. There's many things in the world that needs to be changed, but we will never take a step in the right direction it we don't get involved and try to make an honest effort.

Mbanaja's picture

 

This is true! People do need to get involved in order to make a change. I feel as though my generation along with me aren’t properly informed or don’t seek the knowledge needed to participate in voting and voting for a candidate they are knowedgable about. They may follow other people’s judgments and values which I agree may not be a smart choice.

Msrivastava's picture

In the chapter 6 of “The Ecology of Democracy”, the author discussed about how citizens wants to get involve to solve a problem but many of them don’t even want to know about what is the reason behind the problem. In this world, there are conflicts regarding culture, creed, race, sex, habitat etc., the discrimination can go on forever unless we step up and mix with each other and understand what they believe in. Our differences will never solve the problem but will create a huge one.

 There are people who do not want to know their neighbors, maybe because of personal issues or privacy issues and that’s why they do not want to get along with them. People need to get educated so that they look up and get involve with people instead of only thinking about their own self-interest. Especially in this generation, people are least interested in knowing their neighbors name, maybe because they are too busy in their own life and are more one minded. We have to work together to make the best of our country, and to solve all the misunderstandings in our society.

 

MLichtenfelt's picture

This article brought up many good points. I agree with most of the points throught the article and was very intrested in it. I believe that peole do not know enough details on their own and rely on social media, and snipbits of the world from the intrnet to make their decisions for them. People need to dig in, figure out what is important to them and fight for it. Not neccisarily get involved in things that are not important to them, but find what is, and make sure it is imporant to the changes being made in their country.

mbeneid's picture

I strongly agree with you MLichtenfelt. It is very sad but there is a lot of truth to how people rely on social media and the internet to recieve information. And I also agree with you that people need to dig in and find what fits them. It is very important for people to be involved and interact with each other so that they don't lose any knowledge. It is sick how most of the human race is stuck behind a computer for most of their lives. Don't get me wrong, technology is great, but some take it to a level of discust and they are never found in the real world getting involved. It is importtant to interact with others to stay connected.

mqazaha's picture

I agree with what you're saying about how people should not rely on social media and such to base their opinions and decisions off of. Everyone should have the opportunity to gain as much knowledge about what is going on in the world around them as possible. By doing so, we will allow ourselves to find out what is important to us, and find efficient ways to solve whatever issues we can!

mcleary's picture

I agree. People believe too much on what’s on social media, in entertainment magazines, or what they hear from their friends. They are slowly forgetting where reliable sources are from.  

Mparks's picture

The article brought out that everyone has different values. That statement is true, but the article also talks about even thought we all may have different views on what's at the top of our priority list we should still make an effort to understand each other's concerns. The article mentions how in order to make a change people need to get involved with  the government to make decisions for the better. However, people may make decisions that are consistent with other people's values and still not be a smart choice. People really need to use there best judgment and not rely soley on facts when making a decision.

MSluder's picture

After reading the article, "Why Get Involved?", it put it into perspective of why people get involved. For the most part, people get involved for their own purpose. They want to see change to their liking, they want to get something done, they want to achieve their goals, etc. Humans are very selfish. However, by being this way people are achieving goals and getting things done. Without wanting things, no one would ever get involved. If no one ever got involved, nothing would be accomplished. However, this isn't the case for everything. Some people do get involved to help others out without wanting anything in return, including community service hours. For the most part though, I believe that getting involved is for personal good. It could either be a good thing or a bad thing. Overall, the article was interesting to read and really put it into perspective why others get involved.

 

m1harris's picture

I agree with you that some people get involved for their own purpose. I find myself doing a lot of volunteer work just because I love it and I love how ir makes feel. Getting involved in groups that share common interests, or attending activities offered by the college can be fun. Getting involved will gives students the opportunity to meet new people. Being involved in some groups may be a resume builder.  Although this certainly shouldn’t be the primary reason for joining a group or participating in an activity, it may be something that they should add to their resume. Being involved in the things happening at the college can bring tremendous benefits to us college students.  However, as with so many things during these college years, it is important that we as students find balance.  Participating in some groups at school, and attending activities on campus are important for us as students well-being. 

Athomas's picture

I agree with you Mparks. I believe that people in the world are caught up in there on lives that they tend to forget the involvement of being a citizen. Things such as voting, contributing to the world or their community, or making the world a better place by not waisting water, food, or plastic. Although I do disagree when you stated that people need to make more judgements and less facts. The reason why is because judging is a form of an opinion and facts are the truth. When you judge something or someone you are basically observing and going off of what you see which is most of the time wrong. When you know the truth and the outcome of the truth it is known by actual experience or observation.

Mgomawi's picture

I strongly agree with what you're saying. informing our decisions requires more than only facts, because facts alone aren’t sufficient. 

MAlhalaway's picture

That's right, adding to that we need an experience when we want to make decisions. So, the decisions we will make not that easy or about our thoughts on something, when we get involved in the socity we will absolutely know the desicion on any situation we have. 

Mbanaja's picture

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Mbanaja's picture

 

I agree, many people get involved for personal gain rather than seeking nothing in return. Though this may seem selfish, I feel as though this is a naturally human instinctual thing to do. People get involved so they can achieve something whether that just be a simple task or a big goal. With this being said however, like you said, there are people who get involved because they simply want to help others and it’s not for their own personal gain.

Mkostin's picture

I believe that what is necessary for a democracy to truly be strong, withstanding, and productive is that a somewhat utalitarian outlook needs to be applied to all eligble voters and people in office. Nobody truly wants to sacrficie and go without for the sake of their neighbor when their and their family's wellbeing is on the line. That's understandable but to endure a small period of personal stagnation for the greater good of the society... it should accepted. America has bred this competitiveness that has surpassed being healthy and advantageous. Competition is good but when it begins to beget apathy or even maliciousness towards one's fellow man it needs to be stunted. We only truly progress if we ALL truly progress.

Mkostin's picture

I believe complacency has created great issues in our country for everyone and every class. We allow these political power families to remain in office and continue to restrict our rights while they're collecting a multitude of dividends. Nobody is benefiting except the elite. Even straight whites should be able to feel the constantly increasing taxes... most don't question where these monies go and then some may blame minorities or downtrodden groups of being lazy and leeching. Being of mixed race and gay I feel that it's vital for my future, my future spouse's future, and my children's future to be as up to date about politics as to vote the right individual into power so they may help us and EVERYONE else. Not just himself or herself. 

Mparks's picture

I agree that the person voted to make the decisions should have the best Interest for everyone. Someone who's truly going to make a difference and solve the problems that need to be fixed. It would be nice to see someone in power who makes a change for the better, not that past presidents haven't, but it's so easy for people of power to lose sight of what the people really want.

Mmurray's picture

I believe this article brings to light the current predicament our country faces as a whole. I agree that our fatal flaw in today's society is apathy. It is important to realize and embrace the power given to citizens through a democracy. Many people take for granted the power held my the people, especially when compared to other countries in the world. Although I understand that each individual's values and motives differ, we should not only take action when something is directly influencing us. We need to establish the central idea that our involvement leads to a better country as a whole. Also, as a society we should be more proactive towards issues, not limiting our action to when something has occurred or about to occur. I am a strong believer that everyone should strive to be an informed, educated, and involved citizen. Eliminating personal apathy will increase involvement, but it alone will not likely better our nation. This must be done through educated and informed citizens. The problems are evident, but the solutions are harder to determine. What I do know is that the first step to a more involved society is to spark a change in our own minds and in the minds of others. 

Mparks's picture

It is so true that citizens need to be involved in order to not only better their community, but the world as a whole. In order for them to do that they need to be educated on what's going on and the problems in the world. They also should make sound judgment when making decisions because otherwise it might not necessarily be beneficial. I think if people were involved more issues could be resolved.

Malmarhoon's picture

I agree with you, citizens should involve and even the the non citizens should involve as the community is for all.