As Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and the Polis, let's think on this holy time, in part, with the philosophy of the ancient Athenian Plato, who once said, "The justice of the State is only possible through the citizens, which is where it must first reside."
We can invoke the favor of Athena into our cities and states, and it is good that we do, but we also are the ones who can determine their destiny, we the citizens. The justice, goodness and prosperity of the State leans on our own hearts and souls, on our own virtuous spirit which says, "I will do something. I will strive for justice. I will fight for freedom. And I will do all the work that is necessary to achieve a City of light."
The reason our success and prosperity relies heavily on us and not completely on the Gods is because there must be some purpose to our lives, otherwise we have nothing to offer to existence itself or the human race. We the people are the ones who the Gods have entrusted to steer our states or cities in good and proper directions. Everything we do, from our voting to a lack thereof, from our decision to either stand and act or sit and consent, determines the success and life of ourselves and our homes. When we the people thrive, so does our society. When we fall, our society falls with us. Everything we decide to do, or not do, will determine the destiny of our people. The justice that the State has is the same justice that we decide to have in our own hearts and to stand for. The freedom that the State upholds is the same that we have decided to fight for. And the prosperity it enjoys is the same that we are determined to create.
Athens was not built because the Athenians waited for someone else to take up the project. Athens became a City of light because the Athenians, knowing the goodness of the Gods, were determined to make it a place where the delight of the Gods always shined upon it. Likewise, the founders of our nation, states and cities, and their people, did not stand idly by like so many do now. They didn't wait for someone else to end slavery, give women the right to vote, or abolish segregation. They freed themselves of those obscenities because they broke the chains themselves. The Hellenic religion would probably still be unrecognized in Greece today had there not been people like the YSEE to do battle in its name. Conservation societies that started out in someone's basement and now own hundreds of acres of land, would still be in that basement with not a blade of grass had they decided to never take the steps necessary to reach their visions. Nothing worth having is ever given over freely, yet it can always be achieved by normal people like you and me who are simply determined to stick to their ideals.
Therefore, all of us, the citizenry of the City, State and nation, have the ability, and indeed the duty, to build the same greatness that has preceded us, for that is the only way that greatness will continue among us. I say to you, love the Gods, love yourselves, and love your Polis enough to improve it.
In the Goodness of Athena,
Blessed Panathenaia to All,