Somehow, I got hooked on following the voting on CNN's top picks for heroes. My guy didn't win, but I was struck by something: Most of these unbelievably unselfish philanthropists are women. Ordinary, not rich, not well-connected women.
If you want to be humbled by your own paltry efforts, check these visionaries out.
Hopefully, in Obama-world, there'll be more and more such citizen activists, responding to everyday, ordinary needs with deceptively commonsensical solutions (like the runner who convinced the homeless "bums" she jogged past everyday to join her. The ripple effects of such a simple, albeit brave, notion are incalculable). None of them stopped a war or cured cancer, but they have made vast improvements in the lives of other simple souls like themselves.
High-tech, initially high-cost innovations like this one, however, are not the kind that the average person can participate in right now, but it's where we need to go.
Maybe now that we've seen where the pursuit of the almighty dollar leads us, regardless of what it does to our nation and our world, maybe now that we've elected someone who's reaching toward the best in us...maybe a new America is just around the corner.