In the last chapter of Third World America, Arianna quotes Barack Obama and David Brooks in order to show how personal relationships and support are key to preserving the American Dream:
"We have to lean on one another and look out for one another and love one another and pray for one another, " Barack Obama said when he delivered the eulogy for the fallen West Virginia miners in April 2010. This si a call that transcends left and right political divisions.
David Brooks has written about the need to replace our "atomized, segmented society" with a society "riented around relationships and associations"... Those who are working to address the devastation in their own communities are willing to experiment, try many things, fail, and try again, the way you do when you really care. And there is extraordinary creativity in local philanthropy.
In describing "The Empathy Index" Arianna goes on to explain how thousands of Americans are taking local approaches with national impact in order to make a difference. Using web-based tools from social media to online giving, these citizens can share their efforts with others who might live hundreds of miles away. But the power of reaching out to others in your community is sometimes as simple as going offline and simply walking out your front door.
We're unveiling a special edition of our HuffPost Meetups in the coming weeks to accomplish this simple goal. We want to encourage you all to find people near you who might be facing similar struggles and meet in real life. As powerful as the internet can be as a communication tool, nothing beats an old-fashioned face-to-face conversation.
Sign up below for a Meetup near you. Whether you're facing adversity as a result of the economic crisis or want to help others, the first step is finding each other. Whether your Meetup has two participants or 20, every connection helps.