CITIZENS: Why the Key to Fixing Everything is All of Us (2022) by Jon Alexander with Ariane Conrad

Sometimes you need to read a book that will get you back into a mindset that was once second nature. Sometimes a friend shares with you a book that they claim brought back their focus to a topic that was once dear to both of you. Sometimes you believe that their claims are too good to be true. Then you read the book.

Citizens was exactly what I needed to read at this time in my life. Feeling disconnected from my community, and lacking energy to invest in the community activities that were once a central part of my every day; in recent months I have found myself searching for 'the thing' that will draw me back towards all things community related. While I can't say for certain if this book is that thing just yet, it definitely has pointed me in the direction I need to be moving in.

In describing the movement of individuals & collectives beyond the roles of Subjects and Consumers, Jon Alexander considers how each and every one of us can stand up to act as the Citizens we are and how we can focus the actions of our lives to improve the ways we relate to one another. With examples focused on non-governmental organizations, businesses, and governments— Citizens asks us to reconsider the agreements we enter into with others and with ourselves and to place what is best for a broader collective ahead of what we want as individuals.

Although at times this book felt like its sole purpose was to prop-up & promote the author's own do-gooding through anecdote after anecdote of their own successes— the root message that threads the pages of the book together is too strong to ignore even when often overshadowed by the author's personal, professional narrative.