At lot of time and effort goes into trying to get other people to change, to learn, to behave, to perform. Sometimes it’s best to step back, focus on conditions, remove barriers and simply let go.

How many times have you thought or said “someone oughta do something?” As few today believe the state or feds can fix what’s not working in communities, citizens are stepping up all over the country in a myriad ways.

One of my favorite examples is in Butte County. An architect–Rory Rottschalk–heard the dire predictions for kids who can’t read by 3rd grade. He decided children in his community were his responsibilty. He was the catalyst for a growing movement in–an army is¬†showing up to help. Citizenship–the responsibility side. The power and impact of citizens is immeasurable.

Fresno example. Two of the projects of the Civic Learning Partnership led by Justice Franson and Mike Wilhelm¬†are a speaker’s bureau of lawyers and a partnership with CART’s Law Lab. 48 lawyers showed up to hear about them. Judges, justices and reps from the San Joaquin College of Law came, too.

No one can do for us what we must learn to do for ourselves–the responsibilities of citizenship. We learn how by doing it.