Opinion

Make 2022 a Year to Remember

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Posted: Jan 03, 2022 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Make 2022 a Year to Remember

Source: AP Photo/Steve Karnowski

It comes as no surprise that Republicans can't wait to exercise their right to vote in the midterms. Elections matter, and this election promises to matter more than most in putting the brakes on President Biden's leftist agenda. If projections prove true, that election night promises to be the day the GOP takes back control of the House and the Senate. But there is more each of us can do to rekindle the morale and confidence of patriotic Americans eager protect the freedoms we cherish.

Waiting for November is not in the makeup of active patriots. We have been stuck in our homes through mandates and lockdowns. We're feeling isolated, angry, frustrated, and oh so ready to get back into life.

Unfortunately, as we watch the news on our TVs, it's all too tempting to think that the only thing that counts in America is what happens in Washington or our state capitol. Such thinking promotes a sense of powerlessness.

It's been said that the depression of our age is "learned helplessness." We feel nothing we do makes a difference, so we watch things happen we wish we could stop. But there seems little we can do to change our politicians. Expand your thinking.

With so many in Washington not running or returning, there are local candidates we need to support. Find ones who support the core conservative priorities you value and walk the precinct requesting support for your candidate. Yes, we worry about election integrity, but, as has been said, if it is not close, they can't cheat. Our job is to foster overwhelming victories for those ready to reject progressive policy priorities.

But politics is only one way that patriots can make a difference. Instead of electing politicians who create more dependency inducing entitlements, they know it's their job to make a difference where they are planted.

The churches and non-profits in your area are on the frontlines of helping those in need. They do it one person at a time and pride themselves in putting donations to work and capitalizing on the volunteers willing to serve. Nothing creates more optimism for the future than getting involved in serving others in their time of need. Tired of throwing pillows at your TV, find a non-profit that fits your values and your time availability and get busy serving. Let me give you three ways of serving that work for me.

As members of the newly formed Sheriffs Advisory Committee at our Lost Hills Sheriff Station in Los Angeles County, Southern California, we've all been asked to share innovative ways our sheriffs' department can improve their service. With the "defund the police" movement still alive, the media tends to focus solely on creating headlines of the poorly handled encounters, the "wrongful deaths," and any bad news about cops they can find. Even though some members of our advisory committee have voiced some concerns, we remain fully committed to the officers' mission of suppressing crime in the area. We want to surface and share on social media the positive stories of law enforcement in action. We have so much to do, but doing what we can one day at a time lets us experience the joy of active citizenship. 

As the long-standing chair of the board for Lutheran Social Services of Southern California, I get to put my commitment to conservative caring to work. I believe welfare programs that just send checks create government dependence, not hope for a self-sufficient life. LSSSC is committed to embracing, enabling, and empowering the disadvantaged of Southern California. That means case management and appropriate referrals to the services in an area that can support that mission. We want to be measured, not just by how many we serve, but how many no longer need our services. Making a difference where it counts is motivating, not depressing. Serving serves the server!

Finally, ACTION VC is a nonprofit that helps connect those who need service with those in the Ventura County who have the skills, time and willingness to serve. If people in the area want to make a difference, they can visit their website and find a service project they want to do. They sign up, show up, and serve! Every year, thousands are served and thousands get to experience the affirmation and joy of helping. Look for a similar site in your area.

How do we make America Great again? Be one of the citizens who votes whenever given the chance, works to support the candidates they value, and serves in the community they live in every chance they get. Don't wait for November to make this a good year. Make every day count, and it will serve you and your country well.

Terry Paulson is PhD psychologist, author, and professional speaker on Earned Optimism, Making Change Work, Claiming Your American Dream, and Becoming a Conservative Values Voter. Contact him at terry@terrypaulson.com.