Posts Tagged ‘government’

You May Say That I’m A Dreamer…

September 6, 2017

 

Many years ago, I had a dream. I would take a child, most likely a little girl who had been abandoned by her birth mother and placed on the steps of an orphanage, and raise her with all the love and advantages I could possibly offer. That dream became a reality in 2001 when we brought our daughter home from China, where she had spent the first 13 months of her life in a welfare center near Nanchang, in the Jiangxi Provence of China.

She was beautiful, and even at a year old, she was verbal, pointing at animals and foods and saying their names in her native tongue. She was fiercely loyal, crying when her caregiver from the orphanage left her and mourning her departure throughout our time in Nanchang. Our pediatrician assured us that her inconsolable outbursts, despite the discontent of the other hotel guests showed that she was able to bond and that she would in time, bond with us as well.(She did.) She told us that children who are able to thrive in the worst of conditions are innately fighters, able to overcome the obstacles that appear in daily life. That these kids tend to have exceptional grit and rigor. She hit the nail on the head.

Throughout her life, our child has been a fighter. When faced with challenges, she says “bring it.” When faced with adversity, she confronts it, sometimes with tears, but ultimately with strength and resilience. She adds value to our lives in a way I could never express, but even more importantly, she adds value to her community, through hard work and service to others, and will no doubt contribute to society as an adult.

Today, as I read that our president wants to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) my heart breaks. I remember sitting in that dingy room in John F. Kennedy airport in New York, holding my squirming and crying baby after a grueling 20-hour flight to her new home, listening to the cacophony of languages around us as we waited to be allowed to bring our immigrant child into this country. A few months later, the government issued a ruling that children adopted by American families during a specified period of time would be granted automatic citizenship. Our daughter was issued an American passport and no longer needed to use her Chinese issued papers and green card for identification. There is no official record of her birth.

She has lived the American dream; one where she has access to a loving family, a safe home, abundant food and clean water, a top tier education and the opportunity to be the best version of herself possible. Other than the fact that her parents are Americans, how does she really differ from the “dreamers’, some of whom may have been in that room with us on that very day at JFK when we brought her home? How does she differ from those who share that same desire to achieve, to rise up above their humble beginnings and fulfill their greatest potential? How bland of a country would America be, without our rich tapestry of cultures that weave together a society filled with bountiful flavors, styles, music, and customs?

Yet with the stroke of a pen, our president can take away the life these people dreamed of when they came to America. He can order nearly 800,000 young people back to their former homelands. Many of these people are living productive lives, whether they are working in our kitchens, picking our food, serving in our military, or tending to our health. These are the dreamers.

You might say that I too am a dreamer. I dream of a world where people are treated with respect and dignity and granted the opportunity to contribute to society in a way that is uniquely theirs. I dream of a world where we are judged solely by our actions and not by our race or religion. And I wake up to the realization that my child, had there been a very slight twist of fate affecting her parentage, could now be facing deportation back to the country that shunned her in the first place. And that is a nightmare.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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When Did Politics Become A Religion?

August 10, 2017

 

Politics have become a religion. Wait a minute, hear me out on this one.

If religion is defined as a set of beliefs held with ardor and faith, than today’s political climate is definately religious.

Whether a Democrat or a Republican, people hold so tightly to their beliefs that any challenges to those ideals are completely shut down, often with a vengeance.

Those who defend our current president, will do so without limits. He himself once said that “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” He appears to be right on that account. While currently only 33% of Americans approve of the job he is doing, those people will defend his every move, however outrageous, or treasonous it may be, as they devoutly believe that he is the savior of the American people.

Those who dislike the current administration will not budge on their conviction that he is going to ruin our country, and that everything he, or his advisors say is should be considered egregious.

The two factions hold on to their theories for dear life, not open to even considering that the other side could be correct. They believe what they believe, and like religion, it is not to be questioned or challenged.

The extensive array of news sources provide fuel for our fodder. Where the major networks and newspapers were once the only trusted sources, there are now tens of thousands of papers, websites and opinions out there to choose from. Suddenly, we pick and choose our facts, based on what we want them to be. Lies? “Alternative facts” are what we call them now.

I remember when we were first about to become parents, I concluded that if you read enough baby books, you would find one that agrees with the way you want to raise your child. Co-sleeping or sleep training; time outs or more time together; whatever feels right to you is correct, and you can find a so-called “expert” who wrote a book to tell you that it is the best thing to do for your child’s well-being.  Politics have become the same way.  Whatever you want to believe happened, there is a news organization which will tell you that it is what “really” happened. From the lips of our chief executive, to those of our “trusted” newscasters, we embrace and accredit the reports we choose to believe. You can almost always find a story that will take either point of view, right or wrong,  if you look hard enough. And if you can’t, just read the comments and there will be hundreds of rude attacks condeming the article and anyone who might agree with it, in an often not so eloquent manner. (Tip: You will be perceived as more intelligent if you don’t have spelling and grammatical errors in your rebuttal.)

Oh, and if you can’t find a way to defend someone, just trash their opponent. It’s a great distraction when you don’t have a leg to stand on, but aren’t willing to accept the reality of what is being said. You can even call them cute little names, like Libtard, and Snowflake.

Politics and current events are unfolding before our very eyes. We don’t need to rely on information from a book written thousands of years ago to guide us through it, yet many are not willing to let go of their beliefs, to react and respond to what is happening in realtime. Jews rarely become Christians, and neither group tend to become Muslim or Buddhist. It’s not how they were raised, and it doesn’t conform to their doctrine.

In decades past, politics were black and white. They were factual and explainable, whether or not you agreed with the decisions being made. Now, politics have become a chosen belief system that guides one’s morals and values on somewhat blind faith. Just like… religion.

photo: Glasshouse Images 

 

 

 

 

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Right To Life, or a Good LIfe?

March 1, 2012

With all of the “right to lifers” out there trying to control women’s reproductive rights, I am mind boggled by some conflicting practices.

If a woman wants to practice birth control by taking a contraceptive pill, some factions say that the employer, not the woman, should decide if this is reasonable.

If a woman, (or a man for that matter) wishes to adopt an abandoned child, conceived by someone who can’t or won’t care for that child, they are subjected to major scrutiny to see if they are fit. When we adopted our daughter, abandoned on a door step when she was a mere 3 days old, we were finger printed 4 times, had a social worker visit our home several times, and had numerous “child abuse clearances” run on us,to see if were fit to be parents.

The conservatives believe that life begins with conception, and that abortion should be made illegal, regardless of the circumstances. Women, in their eyes are ostracized for wanting to prevent or terminate a pregnancy, but not for abandoning a child.

Today, the tabloids are buzzing with the news that Snookie, the hard partying star of the Jersey Shore, is pregnant by her equally hard partying boyfriend. She makes a living out of being portrayed as irresponsible, self -harming, and indulgent. On the show she stays out all night, is promiscuous and has trouble maintaining relationships. She over indulges in alcohol and has recently lost a remarkable amount of weight by using pills, instead of a healthy diet and exercise plan.

So, if life begins at conception, is it too soon to alert the child welfare agency about possible endangerment? Do we have any reason to believe that she has been taking care of herself, and her unborn child? Do we think that she is fit to be a mother? Is it any of our business to be concerned?

Giving birth and being a parent are not mutually exclusive. Anyone with a functioning womb can get pregnant and have a baby. It takes love, sacrifice and responsibility to be a parent. It’s hard work that doesn’t stop at the end of the day.

How do we rationalize that it’s okay to be an unfit parent just because you conceived a life?

Perhaps we all should be required to be licensed to become parents, to ensure that we are willing to do what it takes to raise stable, happy children who will later make positive contributions to society.

Which is a better alternative: helping woman pay for their birth control pills through their prescription plans, or allowing irresponsible parties to become parents?  Permitting abortion, especially where health issues or rape is a factor, or having people shirk their responsibility to their child later?

Should we be discussing the “right to life” or the “right to a secure, healthy,loving life?”

Join the conversation: What do you think?

photo: Glasshouse Images

Words of Wisdom Never Get Old

September 10, 2009

American Flag in Window

Here I sit in utter disbelief, as I read that a large number of parents chose to ban their children from hearing the President of the United States speak to them about focusing on their education.

This man, who “we the people” elected into office, is not spreading Socialist propaganda, nor is he using our youth to further his own personal agenda.

He is, however, trying to make a difference and instill strong moral values and a sense of hope into kids who are struggling with the fall out of our current economy.

What kind of values are we teaching our children, when we tell them that the most powerful leader in the world should be ignored? Is that not teaching them to be disrespectful of those in positions of authority?

It seems to me, that the Conservatives are so caught up in their own personal prejudices, that they are unwilling to embrace any ideas that are not their own.

Perhaps we should all step back and take a lesson from Eleanor Roosevelt, who seemed to possess an uncanny understanding of the world as it is today.

Sometimes I wonder if we shall ever grow up in our politics and say definite things which mean something, or whether we shall always go on using generalities to which everyone can subscribe and which mean very little.”

“It takes as much energy to wish, as to plan. It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”

“ Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both. Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.”

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. What is to give light must endure the burning.”

“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

Perhaps it is time for all of the great minds to come together to find solutions for our country’s woes. Perhaps it is time for our leaders to have the courage to “light a candle”, and “endure the burning” for the greater good of our country. Perhaps, in using our energy to plan, we can fulfill the universal wish for health and prosperity, and world peace. Surely we can all agree on that.

Photo: Spencer Jones/Glasshouse Images


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