As everyone heads off to the weekend thinking, “What will I do with the abundant spare time modern life has afforded me?”, I’ll share a quote in honor of The Volunteers (and local government afficianados) among us:

The citizen of the United States is taught from his earliest infancy to rely upon his own exertions in order to resist the evils and the difficulties of life; he looks upon social authority with an eye of mistrust and anxiety, and he only claims its assistance when he is quite unable to shift without it. ?

[I]n the United States associations are established to promote public order, commerce, industry, morality, and religion; for there is no end which the human will, seconded by the collective exertions of individuals, despairs of attaining.

— Alexis de Tocqueville (Henry Reeve, translator): Democracy in America, volume 1, chapter XII: ?Political Associations in the United States?.

Online at Project Gutenberg, which is invaluable if you’re looking for a quotation.