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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Letter From the Publisher

Sep 28, 2016 10:32PM
Dear Friends,

As I write this, we are 50 days from the presidential election. The rhetoric is full-throated and the aspersions are cutting. Our political system has become so much more than a contest between policies and theoretical worldviews, but feels more like a fight for the sake of winning rather than for the opportunity to govern. The candidates paint a vivid picture of their opponents as more than adversaries—they have become evil and irredeemable enemies.

As a point of confession, I have done my own castigating and bemoaning during the election—seeking out the worst in the other party’s candidates while polishing my rose-tinted glasses as I look at my chosen candidate (no confession on my choice, though). As a self-professed political nerd (and I know I am in good company with that label in D.C.), I can’t look away from the 24/7 sensationalized news cycle. When there is “breaking news”, I get distracted as I listen to scoop that really “broke” the day before, and was barely news at all. In my book, the latest round of name-calling doesn’t qualify as a compelling news story.

What saddens me greatly about this mess is that the very noble purpose of politics (deciding who gets what, when and how for the good of all), which, by its very nature demands compromise, has been replaced with lines in the sand and demonizing other points of view. As I worked on the Hill, I never meet a member of Congress or staffer who came to Washington, D.C. to gain money, power or prestige. To a man and woman, they came because they wanted to support their constituents in the best way possible. Ideological, yes, but nonetheless, they wanted to be a part of the change for good. Our broken system quickly overcomes the idealist, so the most our representatives can hope for (and work for) is two or four or six more years to try to get it right in their next term.

I can’t say that it started in the past few decades. If you watch one of my favorite Frank Capra films, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, you see that politicians have long played the system for another benefits. Young Senator Smith, played by Jimmy Stewart, learns the political game while trying to keep true to his ideals. A noble fight, and because it is a Capra film, good triumphs over the evil.

We are a hopeful people, in general. Regardless of our party or ideology, the majority of us look, with admiration, upon those who make positive changes in the lives of others. The stories of those who are constantly asking, “how can I help” and figuring out a way to do so, are the people we hold in high esteem. Our theme this month, on change makers, is a survey of stories of people who identified a problem, got a few friends together and then crafted a solution. That is something that each person has the capacity to do. I hope you will find the stories as inspirational—to make some changes wherever you see a need.

Also this month, we look the value of chiropractic care and massage therapy. More than a treatment for the back, both of these modalities are used to treat a variety of conditions and improve the health of so many. Take the opportunity this month to learn a bit more of what this care can do for you, and discover some of our favorite practitioners.

On a final note, I can’t complete my letter on change makers without including my all-time favorite quote on the subject from cultural anthropologist, Margaret Meade. She noted, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” So let’s get to it!



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