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A Story of Hope
Saturday evening, June 8, 2017, on the beach in Panama City, Florida, U.S.A., eighty people formed a human chain to rescue a family who were caught in a riptide, pulling them away from shore. No lifeguards were on duty, and the two police officers who arrived only called a rescue boat, which might have arrived too late.
Spontaneously organizing themselves, onlookers became rescuers, as they formed a human chain to keep the lead rescuers from being pulled away by the riptide. Then, in an hour-long effort, they brought all nine potential victims safely back to the beach.
Eighty volunteers of diverse backgrounds, who did not know each other before, made quick, collaborative decisions and successfully carried out an urgent and complex task…without any help from “the authorities.”
The story touches our hearts, because it shows human beings at our best: caring, courageous and competent. And it suggests that our faith in democracy—in the ability of ordinary people to make good decisions—is not misplaced.
We must now form a global human chain to rescue democracy and free enterprise from floating away on a sea of corruption. We aim to move representative democracies beyond the reach of professional politicians with a new era of participatory citizenship—based on the original democracy in Athens—updated to fit our current circumstances.