Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Rant

I've been wrestling with several things lately - things that keep me up at night and that stress me out in the day. I've been suffering anxiety attacks everyday this week, and I'm so keyed up that I can hardly concentrate on things that matter - my job, my kid, um.. my life! I know I am ridiculous, which is part of the anxiety, yet I can't handle myself lately. This reaction is part of my "condition", surely.

HOWEVER, I can't help but feel that some of what's happening to me is a real reaction to what's going on around me: stress over the economy (and how it is very personally affecting me); stress over what I consider the moral obligation of the leader of my county and the party he represents, the obligation that both he and his party are conveniently ignoring; stress about what will happen in the November; stress about how I can possibly afford daycare, gas, my mortgage, and my accumulated debt. And I'm not the only one.

It has become cliche to talk about change. It has become too familiar for the average person to stand up and say, "I can't afford health insurance AND daycare for my kids," because that is the image we repeatedly see associated with the Obama campaign. What at first was empathetic, has become "blahditty blah blah blah" to people who are talking about the future of our nation - the same folks who are debating about whether or not Palin is right for the job (she isn't) and those who justify the "bail out" without considering the people etc.

But DAMMIT. Something has to change!

The moral responsibility - the moral obligation has gone by the wayside. The same folks who are REALLY concerned about abortion (or really, no abortion) or who are excited about the "end times" and this ridiculous war we are waging, do not give a damn about the fact that I can't buy gas this month unless I put it on my credit card, creating further debt etc. and so on. I am an educated, degree holding, gainfully employed person (as Fougs calls me) who is married to an educated, degree holding, gainfully employed person, and I can't afford to buy gas. I haven't been irresponsible with my money. I waited until I was 32 to have a baby. I am a person of integrity, who believes in the good of mankind, who ACTIVELY works at bettering my mind, my heart, my community. My work is a service - I teach school. I love my job.

And I can't fucking afford to buy gas.

And fine. Whatever. Who cares? (Seriously) I am not opposed to living hand to mouth. I've done it before and was just as happy, probably moreso. I'm not afraid of having little. And maybe it's good for my kid to understand the value of "things."

But there is a definite breakdown of moral obligation in this country.

We cannot call ourselves a god fearing nation - a Christian nation - if we are in the business of not helping people - whether we are talking about finances or food. The argument that people won't help themselves is BOGUS. The argument that so and so doesn't have enough faith is BOGUS. The argument that a person deserves his lot is BOGUS. It has never been our job to judge a man's worth for any reason - regarding abortions or sexuality (and if I may be candid, skin color, which I think is really an issue whether we'll admit it or not) or anything else - and anyone who says otherwise is misguided and doesn't truly know the teachings of Jesus (or Mohammad).

A friend of mine sent me an essay written by the lovely Alice Walker (who wrote The Color Purple), and I thought it cliche at first. She asserts that the major problem with our country is that our leaders do not love the people. A true leader, a good leader loves his people, even through the shit. That's what's missing.

But now more than thinking the idea cliche, I find myself in agreement. We (our country) have been greedy. Blind. Inconsiderate. Arrogant. We deserve to fall in all of our selfish foolishness. We do. If our children acted the way our country has, we would be absolutely horrified and apologetic! And if we weren't, others would comment about our lack of parenting skills - that we weren't teaching our children virtues or morals, or about the basic rules of humanity - sharing, generosity, good stewardship, charity, responsibility - how not to throw fits when we don't get what we want. We do not have a leader (and haven't had one in my lifetime) who loves us or who looks out for our best interests, who guides us in the right direction. And we, in our democracy, have allowed this and made excuses for it. And now we need help. We need our leader. And we have been left wanting.

We cannot let this trend continue.

We are better than that.

That's why I have to vote for Obama. At least he acknowledges his moral obligation to me, to this country. I think he loves people- of all nationalities and religions. I think he wants to do some work to heal the things that are broken - his moral obligation to do what's right. And if I'm wrong, OK. But at least I voted according to my conscience - MY moral obligation to help people.

3 comments:

happyfunpants said...

Oh my gosh!!! I am right there with you!

I was thinking the same thing yesterday - and have these kind of conversations with my co-workers who now mock me as they walk by my cube saying something like "Hey, have you seen hope?"

And yesterday I finally said...yes. "I have recently seen hope. And if you're too ignorant to see the truth that this nation and many people NEED then I'm sorry for you."

I am stressing about this too - really. This is the first candidate that I've cared so passionately about that I've signed up to help with his campaign. Maybe he'll be just like all the others. Or maybe, just maybe, he'll bring the change that we so desperately need.

That Republicans, potential VPs and otherwise cranky people don't see it doesn't make it any less true.

annie said...

"Founding itself upon love, humility, and faith, dialogue becomes a horizontal relationship of which mutual trust between the dialoguers is the logical consequence. It would be a contradiction in terms if dialogue — loving, humble, and full of faith — did not produce this climate of mutual trust, which leads the dialoguers into ever closer partnership in the naming of the world. Conversely, such trust is obviously absent in the anti-dialogics of the banking method of education. Whereas faith in humankind is an a priori requirement for dialogue, trust is established by dialogue. Should it founder, it will be seen that the preconditions were lacking. False love, false humility, and feeble faith in others cannot create trust. Trust is contingent on the evidence which one party provides the others of his true, concrete intentions; it cannot exist if that party’s words do not coincide with their actions. To say one thing and do another — to take one’s own word lightly — cannot inspire trust. To glorify democracy and to silence the people is a farce; to discourse on humanism and to negate people is a lie.

Nor yet can dialogue exist without hope. Hope is rooted in men’s incompletion, from which they move out in constant search — a search which can be carried out only in communion with others. Hopelessness is a form of silence, of denying the world and fleeing from it. The dehumanization resulting from an unjust order is not a cause for despair but for hope, leading to the incessant pursuit of the humanity denied by injustice. Hope, however, does not consist in crossing one’s arms and waiting. As long as I fight, I am moved by hope; and if I fight with hope, then I can wait. As the encounter of women and men seeking to be more fully human, dialogue cannot be carried on in a climate of hopelessness. If the dialoguers expect nothing to come of their efforts, their encounter will be empty and sterile, bureaucratic and tedious [...]"

Pedagogy of the Oppressed: 30th ... - Google Book Search p. 89

Christine said...

I really like this post. I didn't know "rant" meant "honest commentary." :)

Thank you for commenting on this concept of our and our government's moral obligations. This is the problem that's been at the root of all that's bothering me lately, I just didn't realize it until recently. I can no longer view economics as something distant or academic, something that should be theorized about instead of policy that should be aimed at the betterment of our citizenry. And I say "citizenry" instead of "country" for a reason.

I'm sick of trickle-down. Let's try some trickle-up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Rant

I've been wrestling with several things lately - things that keep me up at night and that stress me out in the day. I've been suffering anxiety attacks everyday this week, and I'm so keyed up that I can hardly concentrate on things that matter - my job, my kid, um.. my life! I know I am ridiculous, which is part of the anxiety, yet I can't handle myself lately. This reaction is part of my "condition", surely.

HOWEVER, I can't help but feel that some of what's happening to me is a real reaction to what's going on around me: stress over the economy (and how it is very personally affecting me); stress over what I consider the moral obligation of the leader of my county and the party he represents, the obligation that both he and his party are conveniently ignoring; stress about what will happen in the November; stress about how I can possibly afford daycare, gas, my mortgage, and my accumulated debt. And I'm not the only one.

It has become cliche to talk about change. It has become too familiar for the average person to stand up and say, "I can't afford health insurance AND daycare for my kids," because that is the image we repeatedly see associated with the Obama campaign. What at first was empathetic, has become "blahditty blah blah blah" to people who are talking about the future of our nation - the same folks who are debating about whether or not Palin is right for the job (she isn't) and those who justify the "bail out" without considering the people etc.

But DAMMIT. Something has to change!

The moral responsibility - the moral obligation has gone by the wayside. The same folks who are REALLY concerned about abortion (or really, no abortion) or who are excited about the "end times" and this ridiculous war we are waging, do not give a damn about the fact that I can't buy gas this month unless I put it on my credit card, creating further debt etc. and so on. I am an educated, degree holding, gainfully employed person (as Fougs calls me) who is married to an educated, degree holding, gainfully employed person, and I can't afford to buy gas. I haven't been irresponsible with my money. I waited until I was 32 to have a baby. I am a person of integrity, who believes in the good of mankind, who ACTIVELY works at bettering my mind, my heart, my community. My work is a service - I teach school. I love my job.

And I can't fucking afford to buy gas.

And fine. Whatever. Who cares? (Seriously) I am not opposed to living hand to mouth. I've done it before and was just as happy, probably moreso. I'm not afraid of having little. And maybe it's good for my kid to understand the value of "things."

But there is a definite breakdown of moral obligation in this country.

We cannot call ourselves a god fearing nation - a Christian nation - if we are in the business of not helping people - whether we are talking about finances or food. The argument that people won't help themselves is BOGUS. The argument that so and so doesn't have enough faith is BOGUS. The argument that a person deserves his lot is BOGUS. It has never been our job to judge a man's worth for any reason - regarding abortions or sexuality (and if I may be candid, skin color, which I think is really an issue whether we'll admit it or not) or anything else - and anyone who says otherwise is misguided and doesn't truly know the teachings of Jesus (or Mohammad).

A friend of mine sent me an essay written by the lovely Alice Walker (who wrote The Color Purple), and I thought it cliche at first. She asserts that the major problem with our country is that our leaders do not love the people. A true leader, a good leader loves his people, even through the shit. That's what's missing.

But now more than thinking the idea cliche, I find myself in agreement. We (our country) have been greedy. Blind. Inconsiderate. Arrogant. We deserve to fall in all of our selfish foolishness. We do. If our children acted the way our country has, we would be absolutely horrified and apologetic! And if we weren't, others would comment about our lack of parenting skills - that we weren't teaching our children virtues or morals, or about the basic rules of humanity - sharing, generosity, good stewardship, charity, responsibility - how not to throw fits when we don't get what we want. We do not have a leader (and haven't had one in my lifetime) who loves us or who looks out for our best interests, who guides us in the right direction. And we, in our democracy, have allowed this and made excuses for it. And now we need help. We need our leader. And we have been left wanting.

We cannot let this trend continue.

We are better than that.

That's why I have to vote for Obama. At least he acknowledges his moral obligation to me, to this country. I think he loves people- of all nationalities and religions. I think he wants to do some work to heal the things that are broken - his moral obligation to do what's right. And if I'm wrong, OK. But at least I voted according to my conscience - MY moral obligation to help people.

3 comments:

happyfunpants said...

Oh my gosh!!! I am right there with you!

I was thinking the same thing yesterday - and have these kind of conversations with my co-workers who now mock me as they walk by my cube saying something like "Hey, have you seen hope?"

And yesterday I finally said...yes. "I have recently seen hope. And if you're too ignorant to see the truth that this nation and many people NEED then I'm sorry for you."

I am stressing about this too - really. This is the first candidate that I've cared so passionately about that I've signed up to help with his campaign. Maybe he'll be just like all the others. Or maybe, just maybe, he'll bring the change that we so desperately need.

That Republicans, potential VPs and otherwise cranky people don't see it doesn't make it any less true.

annie said...

"Founding itself upon love, humility, and faith, dialogue becomes a horizontal relationship of which mutual trust between the dialoguers is the logical consequence. It would be a contradiction in terms if dialogue — loving, humble, and full of faith — did not produce this climate of mutual trust, which leads the dialoguers into ever closer partnership in the naming of the world. Conversely, such trust is obviously absent in the anti-dialogics of the banking method of education. Whereas faith in humankind is an a priori requirement for dialogue, trust is established by dialogue. Should it founder, it will be seen that the preconditions were lacking. False love, false humility, and feeble faith in others cannot create trust. Trust is contingent on the evidence which one party provides the others of his true, concrete intentions; it cannot exist if that party’s words do not coincide with their actions. To say one thing and do another — to take one’s own word lightly — cannot inspire trust. To glorify democracy and to silence the people is a farce; to discourse on humanism and to negate people is a lie.

Nor yet can dialogue exist without hope. Hope is rooted in men’s incompletion, from which they move out in constant search — a search which can be carried out only in communion with others. Hopelessness is a form of silence, of denying the world and fleeing from it. The dehumanization resulting from an unjust order is not a cause for despair but for hope, leading to the incessant pursuit of the humanity denied by injustice. Hope, however, does not consist in crossing one’s arms and waiting. As long as I fight, I am moved by hope; and if I fight with hope, then I can wait. As the encounter of women and men seeking to be more fully human, dialogue cannot be carried on in a climate of hopelessness. If the dialoguers expect nothing to come of their efforts, their encounter will be empty and sterile, bureaucratic and tedious [...]"

Pedagogy of the Oppressed: 30th ... - Google Book Search p. 89

Christine said...

I really like this post. I didn't know "rant" meant "honest commentary." :)

Thank you for commenting on this concept of our and our government's moral obligations. This is the problem that's been at the root of all that's bothering me lately, I just didn't realize it until recently. I can no longer view economics as something distant or academic, something that should be theorized about instead of policy that should be aimed at the betterment of our citizenry. And I say "citizenry" instead of "country" for a reason.

I'm sick of trickle-down. Let's try some trickle-up.