It is Kwanzaa time again. I posted “Habari gani?” on my Facebook status update earlier this week, but found just one taker. Is Kwanzaa fading away as a holiday tradition, I wonder?
I like the holiday (though as I mentioned last year
, it is not one that celebrates my own ethnic heritage, but it does celebrate the African-American heritage of family in my household) and I have all the stuff
for it, so we’re celebrating!
Besides, how can a bioethicist philosopher resist a holiday built on principles
Today’s principle is ujima
– principle of collective work and responsibility. I’ll resist the temptation to point out that certain governmental institutions function best when ujima is applied, and focus instead on something close to home – our beloved Duke City Fix
Many people are not aware of this, but Duke City Fix (aka DCF) is an all volunteer operation. The money generated from Google Ads barely covers the Ning bill, and moderators, contributors, bloggers, Morning Fixers, and administrators get zippo for their work.
Ahem. That last bit is not exactly true. And in keeping with the most recent FTC cyber-regulations
, I must be scrupulously honest with you readers.
We do get something in return for our labors. We get the pleasure of knowing that Duke City Fix fills a need in Albuquerque. We give you slices of Albuquerque’s collective thoughts and in return, we get the satisfaction of knowing that DCF matters. And we get the chance to create friendships, cyber and otherwise, with folks we might have otherwise never met.
But DCF does not function on goodwill alone.
It functions because the DCF team of Kitson
, Edith Grove
, Johnny Mango
, The Ditchride
, Masshole in Fringecrest
, and our beloved managing editor Sophie Martin
keep their eagle eyes on this site. It functions because guest Morning Fixers watch the news each night and put together posts each morning (trust me, this is harder than one might think). It functions because the moderators take their jobs and DCF policies
seriously. (Ever wonder why the tenor of the discussions on DCF take on a different tone than, say, others focusing on our fair city?)
And of course, DCF exists because of the hours of work that the original team, including our founder and publisher, Chantal Foster
, put into making this a site worth coming back to again and again and again.
But the DCF team is not the only reason this works. Ujima happens on Duke City Fix because DCF members and readers contribute their thoughts, questions, and photographs.
In other words: YOU
make DCF possible.
We’re only three days into Kwanzaa, and we have a few more principles to go. Umoja
(unity), and Kujichagulia
(self-determination) have passed, and Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith) are coming up.
I’m taking some time to figure out how to build these into our family routine now that the children are older and more outspoken, and blogging
about my successes and not-so-successful moments in my spare time as a warm-up for my New Year's Resolution to Blog Every Day. (We'll see how long that lasts). The familia in this Barelas casita will spend some time today working towards ujima
by putting together a meal for a family in our community and working on the house and at the family business.
The mundane pursuits of daily life make it easy to gloss over the importance of ujima – our collective work and responsibility. Setting aside a day to think about how our collective actions contribute - as cogs in the machinery, as citizens in a democracy, as members of special-interest groups, and as members of Duke City Fix – is a good way to remember the importance of these actions and to hold ourselves accountable for them.