A Cause Without A Rebel

Krissy Green | SHED Barber – Hyde Park | Photo by Franceska Rae

A Cause Without A Rebel

2024. Another super fun (and not at all polarizing) Presidential election year. Over the last few decades, American culture has shifted away from a community-focused society towards a more individualistic way of life. Most of us claim we now get our information on civics and politics from the news, books and social media compared to conversations with friends, neighbors or community groups. This lack of meaningful discourse around politics has contributed to a growing sense of disconnection from our communities and a diminishing sense of civic responsibility. In Austin, we have the chance to lead the way in fostering real connections and setting an example for the next generation of Texans.

We’re The Role Models Now

A civic role model is someone who openly speaks and listens about politics, civics and social change. More so, they lead by example. Role models demonstrate integrity, empathy, and a commitment to making their community a better place for all. Researchers with More In Common estimate that about 43% of Americans do not have a civic role model. Meanwhile around 30% look to a family member. Typically, a parent or grandparent.

Right now, we are being looked to as the next generation’s civic role models. Don’t freak out. A civic role model doesn’t have to look like a “prepper” or a “social justice warrior”. Most of the time it looks like that neighbor who’s always out there organizing the block parties and clean-up events. They’re the ones who don’t just talk about change; they roll up their sleeves and get stuff done.

Whether it’s voting in local elections, lending a hand at Austin Pets Alive!, or just having those real conversations with folks at the barbershop, we’re setting the example. And that’s crucial because our conversations and actions today are actively shaping the world that Austin’s children are set to inherit.

No Time Like The Present

As members of this community, it’s our responsibility to re-instill an integrity mindset in our families and neighborhoods. We must teach each other to seek out role models who embody our values, and inspire children to take meaningful actions that contribute to the greater good. By actively participating in our civic life and fostering an environment of open dialogue and engagement, we can equip children with the tools they need to build a brighter and more inclusive future for all. Together, let’s lead by example. It can start with a simple conversation with a friend or your barber.

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