Punch List for America– A Tool for Focusing Our Thinking and Conversation
Our civic time is a scarce resource. How do we allocate it? The norm, in my observation, is to defer to the media to decide what is most worth thinking about on any given day. What is the media bias? To get our attention by maximizing fear, by exaggerating the significance of something of marginal if any importance. It’s time to take control of our civic time allocation. How?
Turn off the media. Find a quiet place and a quiet time. Take out a pen and a piece of paper. Or open a word document and create a blank table or matrix with four columns
and seven rows.
1.) What issues matter most to you? These should be the row headings listed in
order of importance. Prioritization is everything in life. Civics is no different from
any other sphere. But prioritization is tough.
2.) The following question may help in this prioritization exercise: what is the biggest
gap between America as it is and America as it should be?
3.)That biggest gap should be the first row heading. The second biggest
the second and so on.
4.) The column headings should be three categories of solutions:
say short term, medium term, long term. Or governmental, for profit, or non-profit.
Or federal, state, and local pending legislation. Or personal, family, community.
Or conceptual (re-framing), practical, fantasy. Or Best Idea, Second Best, Third Best.
Or Biggest bang for buck: #1, #2, #3
YOUR TURN: let’s trade Punch Lists. Let’s encourage our family members to
do so. Let’s set up Thinking Citizen Clubs in our communities where
Punch Lists are exchanged with a regular periodicity.
These constantly revised and edited Punch Lists should replace
media agendas as our algorithm for the allocation of our limited