PAUL ROGAT LOEB – We live in a time fraught with bad news. From the toll of violence and poverty to the escalating march of climate change, every week brings temptations to despair. Hope may actually be more beleaguered in the wake of a president who won the office in part by branding himself with it. Many have concluded that political participation has become a futile game. For myself, I deal with potential despair by finding ways to act. And remembering that the doors to social change are never irrevocably closed, even in unimaginably difficult situations.
PAUL ROGAT LOEB — Effective activism is a long-haul process, not â€œsave the earth in 30 days, ask me how.â€ But there are some principles that seem to reoccur for people addressing every kind of challenge from the Gulf Oil spill to inadequate funding for urban schools to how to deal with Afghanistan and Iraq. When I was updating Soul of a Citizen, an activist rabbi who was teaching the book at Florida Gulf Coast University suggested I gather together the Ten Commandments for effective citizen engagement. Calling them Commandments seemed a bit presumptuous, but I did draw together ten suggestions that can make engagement more fruitful.