Had a chance to catch your breath yet? Not really? Yeah, me neither.
To borrow a catchphrase from President Biden, the temperature in the country has lowered a bit. It’s certainly gone down since Jan. 6, when we watched via social and mainstream media an insurrection led by fellow Americans at the U.S. Capitol. But while the energy in Washington has mostly shifted to healing and making government function again, I still feel uneasy.
Thankfully, on that Wednesday and in the days before, small groups of honorable people stepped up to steer us away from the brink. Even so, we got way too close. And while that effort failed, the schools of thought that fueled it are still active and out in the open.
In 2021, “see something, say something” has taken on a new meaning. The threat to our republic now comes from within our borders — from those who look like people we know, even if they think far differently. We can no longer afford to take them lightly.
While looking through this month’s issue for a story to highlight, I was struck by how many of the articles feature regular folks stepping up to get things done in the community. They include the recently deceased Barbara Bloom, who turned her passion for learning into Mt. Airy Learning Tree; the volunteers who worked for 10-plus years to establish the newly opened South Philly Food Co-op; and Antoine and Samantha Joseph, a Mt. Airy couple who have invested plenty of their own money and are raising more to purchase and renovate the former Philadelphia Sunday Sun building on Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy. They’re aiming to turn it into a community gathering space with two fair-market-rent apartments.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve read about and personally observed stories of people taking on challenges in their communities and making things happen — and that needs to continue. No, we can’t do it all. But we mostly need to lead the way so our leaders can follow.