One of our contributors, Sarah Jo, writes:
Recently I noticed two new billboards while driving my usual route to and from Pacific. One is a photo of two girls in softball uniforms carrying a third girl in a different uniform. The caption reads “Helping the opponent win,” and the bold print under the photo says SPORTSMANSHIP. The other billboard shows a picture of Jane Goodall and a chimpanzee, and the message is about STEWARDSHIP. I googled Values.com, the name of the group listed as the sponsor of both of these ads, and found the most hopeful sign (no pun intended) of good things that may be possible.
I say “may” be possible because I am not convinced that anything can save our country from the people who are trying to destroy it. I believe that corporatism has so infected our society that we have finally come to the end of the conservative/ progressive cycles that have kept our country in balance for over 100 years. The right-wing media outlets have become masters of our fate. I know this to be true because even I, an avowed progressive activist, evaluate my private thoughts based on what “they” will say. Ask yourself if this isn’t true for you as well. How many times have you thought about making a statement or writing a letter to the editor and found yourself predicting what the angry response will be? This is thought control, and we’ve allowed ourselves to be intimidated by the worst form of what passes for public discourse. If hate radio and Fox News were valleys and streams, they’d be labeled toxic waste dumps and fenced off by the EPA.
So, when I read about Values.com and the work they are doing to demonstrate the good things that are possible when decent people make decisions based on positive values, I felt a tiny bit of that hopefulness and optimism we all felt after President Obama’s inauguration in January. I don’t know who the benefactor supporting Values.com is, but I will definitely send an email message on the “contact us” link to thank him or her profoundly. Also I will thank the Outdoor Advertising Council for donating billboard space. Go to the Values.com website, view the many different values billboard photos and tell me you can do it without crying.