Monday, June 24, 2013

In Light of these Truths

You know those cheesy magazines you read on the plane when you forget to bring your own?

And they have all these posters for success in them?  Inspirational stuff about planning ahead and doing the right thing?

Stuff like this -

Here's the scary thing, and it almost pains me to say it, because I know... those posters are cheesy!

But...   that stuff is true.  It's why we like it, secretly or not. 

It's why the people who change or changed the world say it.  Because it's true.

Ol' Ben Franklin, that cold-air-bath-loving, electric genius knew it, and produced a passel of his own proverbs, including these gems:

So in light of that, as we look forward to the future, as a people, and as the Assembly Education committee looks over SB 173 in their hearing on Wednesday, June 26th, at 1:30 in the afternoon...

SB 173 being a fine bill in many ways... and it's author, Senator Carol Liu, being one of our heroines, who saw the value of Adult Ed and stood up for it when few others did...

but SB 173 having this teensie little problem:  it excludes funding for Older Adults and Parent Education...

... a problem which can be fixed... by asking our Legislators to change the wording so that Older Adults and Parent Ed are included, not excluded...

...So in light of in all that... in light of truths like

I'd like to present some questions for us to ponder, as a people, as we make decisions about our future, as a people... and SB 173... 

Hit the "read more" link to see them.

1.  Do old people matter?  Can we do without them?  Many of them have given us something - their tax money, their votes, love, life, and infrastructure - but do they matter?  Do we need them anymore?  Or can we, as Minnette suggests, just put them out in the cold if we don't need them anymore?

2.  If we didn't get something, if we didn't get the love a parent or a grandparent, does anyone else have the right to that?  I mean, really, if we didn't get it, should anyone else?   Why should we be nice to someone else's dad or grandma when we didn't have one?  Or ours wasn't very nice to us?  Or never approved of us?  Or bailed on us?  Why the heck should we be nice to old people now?

3.  Why do we have to think about kids if we don't have them?  They are annoying.  They pick their nose and people bring them to nice restaurants and they make a lot of noise.  And the fertility treatments didn't work.  If we didn't have them why should other people?  And sometimes they don't turn out right.  Mine don't talk to me.  They never send a card on my birthday.  Mine are great and if someone else's aren't why should I think about theirs?  They're not my kids!!!   Why should we think about kids if they aren't ours and if ours make us feel sad why do we have to think about kids at all and if we don't have kids, isn't that why we didn't have them so we don't have to see, hear or smell them, much less think about them?

4.  Schools should raise kids, shouldn't they?  Don't they already have lunch programs?  Aren't we already paying a lot of money for those awful free breakfast things that can come in plastic wrap and are kind of moist and awful when you open them?  What the heck is this Parent Education stuff, anyway?  Do people need lessons to be parents now?  Do I have to pay for them?  We're already paying for schools - why do we have to pay for Parent Education, too?  What is Parent Education? 

5.  Why don't people have to get a license to have kids?  If they have to get a license to drive or sell alcohol, why don't they have to get a license to have a kid?  If they had to have a license, we'd avoid all these problems...  just like driver's licenses avoid car accidents, I mean... uh...  People should just never make mistakes!

6.  Why do we have to think about complicated things that make our head hurt?  Why can't we just put our head in the sand and inhale deeply and pretend it's cocaine?  Why doesn't eating a dozen Krispy Kremes make me forget I'm sad?  Why doesn't this porn work to make me forget I'm lonely?  Why doesn't obsessively clicking on this screen make me forget my family doesn't accept me?  Why doesn't the clink of this ice cube against my class make me forget I failed again?  Why doesn't the sound of the pack as I tap tap tap it make me forget I'm never gonna have that chance again?   Why do I have to address the underlying crap?  Why do I have to think about the big picture?  Why do I have to practice forgiveness and generosity and kindness in order to be happy?  Who can do that?  Life would be easier if I could stick my head in the sand and inhale deeply... and inhaling sand didn't kill me.  Why, oh why, do I have to think about anybody besides myself because no one's pain is as big as mine, anyway.  I'll be damned if I think about someone's kid or some old Grandma when no one has it as hard as me, anyway.  And no one knows.  Because no one cares.  And that's a fact because I'm basing that on the truth that I don't.

7.  Which is cheaper:  Keeping seniors active and healthy and contributing in the form of both paid and unpaid work and family support or paying for a lot of hospital visits and prescriptions and lost worktime when adult children need to go to the ER with their parents? 

8.  Which is cheaper:  Empowering parents to do what only they can do and raise thriving, healthy kids?  Or making sure our prison system continues to grow and thrive as the biggest, most thriving-est prison system in the country? 

9.  Who are my models for a good life?

(I know! I fooled you!  A short one!  ;-)

10.  What is my model for a good culture?

11.   What should old age be like?

12.  What should family life be like?

13.  Who raises children?

14.  Who is the best, most likely person to help when I have a problem?

15.  What happens if they aren't in a position to help me?

16.  Who do I help?

17.  What if I can't help them?

18.  Is help isn't always about money, what's it about?

19.  Is it really possible to do things in a balanced way where we think about the present and the future?  The individual and the group?  The needs and the resources? 

20.  Do I... do we... really have it in us to choose wisely?

Let's find out together.

Amend SB 173: 
Mandate Funding for Adult Education for
Parent Education & Older Adults

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