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On the day after the election, how will YOU start changing the world?

Filed by KOSU News in Public Insight Network.
November 2, 2012

We don’t usually preview questions we are going to ask, but in this case, I want you to start thinking about something for us.

Mr. And Mrs. Wallace A. Wolf Eating Breakfast before He Leaves for His Job as an Automotive Mechanic for the City. He Is a Native of the Town Whose Mother and Grandmother Still Reside There. Mr. Wolf, Nicknamed "Whitey", Is an Officer in the Volunteer Fire Department. The Town Is a County Seat Trading Center of 13,000 in a Farming Area of South Central Minnesota. It Was Founded in 1854 by a German Immigrant Land Company 10/1974 [Photo: U.S. National Archives]

October 1974: Mr. And Mrs. Wallace A. Wolf of south-central Minnesota share breakfast before he leaves for his job as an auto mechanic. [Photo: U.S. National Archives]

You see, I keep thinking about the day after Election Day. Not in a despondently desperate way (like this little girl), but more like the way I looked forward to the last day of school. Up ahead is a period of vast possibilities — free from all the institutionalized noise and distraction.

On Wednesday morning, once we finally know who will be in charge of the country next, we can start to free ourselves from the myth that those people are the only ones who matter. Because of course they aren’t. In fact, the streets where we live and the neighborhoods where we walk, shop, play and pray aren’t likely to look much different any time soon if we wait for people in Washington. And we will have the same amount of power we had the day before to help out, volunteer, donate, encourage, teach, preach, encourage or inspire.

So here’s what we ask you to do Wednesday morning:

We want to collect stories of everyday Americans planning to make a tiny differences in their communities. When so much of the talk is about cabinet appointments, legislative gridlock and the proper role of government, we’d like to tell stories about what Americans are waking up and doing themselves. Don’t worry. We won’t hold you to it. But we may check in after a while to find out how things are going.

Groups have spent billions of dollars in the last year to convince us that everything depends on how we vote on Tuesday. But on Wednesday, they’ll put away their wallets for a while. And you can get to work.

(By the way, you don’t have to wait for Wednesday morning. If you know how you’re going to make a little bit of change in your world, go ahead and tell us now.)

>> Share your plans: What will YOU do in the coming days, months and years, to make your corner of the world a better place?

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