Gratitude Sunday: For The Children

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Flowers droop in want
of refreshing summer rain,
nowhere in forecast.

Sunday Musings
Spoiler alert: prescriptive sentences that aren’t very grateful and what we “need” to do.

We are raising anxious children this generation. Maybe it’s been every generation. I know mine was anxious as well. We became hippies and protestors and protectors of rights and society hasn’t progressed much in these last 50 years. Of course I’m speaking from the perspective of the low-income spectrum. I have only the vaguest idea of what my thoughts might be like if I had been born into the comfort and responsibility of affluence or inherited money or been able to earn it for myself. This may not be true for upper income families, but with more than 45 million of Americans living under the poverty level, there is much concern to worry us. That’s right more than 45 MILLION people in America live with poverty level incomes. Not much there to help your children have a hand up when you are scrambling for the basics.

Our children have poor health care, poor quality foods, and unequal access to education. Our young adults can’t find jobs even with a college degree, and their parents kick them out onto the streets when they don’t, because they are supposed to learn independence. Even if they find jobs it’s barely enough to pay rent and provide for themselves. Participating in the American Dream of home ownership and the privilege of paying a property tax bill is a distant reality for most young adults. The taxes these young people pay from their already small paychecks don’t come back to serve them.

Many people don’t want government in their personal business, but something has to change. If you take a close look at it government is already part of our personal business; we don’t always recognize it as such. Since it already is, I’d rather it worked for me and you, than supporting the ways of all the Big industries that are trying to exploit American workers.

I don’t believe in “Welfare Queens”, though I actually met a self-admitted one years ago. As each child grew to a certain age, she would get that letter telling her she would soon stop receiving assistance. She would go out randomly sharing her body with anybody so she could get pregnant and continue to receive her benefits. I met her in the state run clinic I used during my pregnancy, and was surprised she would tell a complete stranger (me) this. She even showed me the cutoff letter. She was there for a check-up for pregnancy number 6. I felt sad that was the only way she could figure out to support herself and her brood of fatherless children. She didn’t want anything to do with the men once she was pregnant. That one, ONE, example speaks volumes about our nation.

The fact that most of us figure out a better way to support ourselves hasn’t proven to be to our advantage either. Even more maddening when one discovers there are secret machinations out there meaning to keep us in poverty. That makes no sense to me. The more of us who prosper and are able to help others be prosperous, the wealthier our whole country is. If we are kept in poverty so just a few people can be wealthy, this is not a wealthy nation.

We know how to fix this. We do. We have to look beyond the notion of “I’ve got mine, and too bad for you” of self sufficiency, because that doesn’t work for every person despite the best laid plans. We have to provide health care, quality foods, and equal opportunity to education and housing. I’m not talking about a hand-out. I’m talking about a hand up, a few stepping stones in place to the advantage of all Americans not just the wealthy or the able or the lucky.

We could start by implementing health care for all. Across the board, for every person in America, regardless of income or any other difference. Easy peasy if we cut out all the competing insurance companies who seem hell bent on commodifying the health of Americans to the benefit of their profit margins. When CEOs of insurance companies are paid in the millions (yes, plural!) of dollars each year, the math is crazy wrong. Putting that money back into actual health care would balance the equation. We also need to divorce medical research from the pharmaceutical companies who make profit from skewed test results. Anybody who has studied statistics knows it’s a matter of semantics as to which evidence is supported. And we need to put doctors back to real doctoring, not drug pushing like they are trained now.

Then we need to support local farmers, with each community having enough local farms for the immediate area. Devitalized commercial foods are killing us and costing us too much in health care to repair needless damage. Transporting commercial foods is killing our air and water with the carbon footprint. Since it now takes two or more adults in the household to financially support the household few people have time to garden and cook from scratch. That’s why my grandmothers didn’t have jobs outside the home, though their quilting and crocheting handwork done in their “spare” time covered many a bed and body. It took every minute of their days to produce the healthful foods to put on their family’s tables, and every penny of their husband’s incomes to support the household so they could do so.

We need to change the current warehousing system now known as public education. I volunteered in the son’s schools over the last 25 years. They were not taught block letters, cursive handwriting, or basic math. Courtesy and polite manners were not re-enforced, though standing in line was. Those who happened to excel were pushed forward. Those who did not were ignored, forgotten, or worse, bullied and punished for their “failures”. American national dropout rates are at 25%; 25% of all people are dyslexic, so it’s not tough math to figure out which demographic is not being served. “Special” ed is great for those who need it, but dyslexics are not in need of “special” education, merely a different type of reading education. Dyslexics are just as smart as typical learners, they read differently. I’m sad to say I witnessed too many teachers telling kids they were stupid or telling kids they’d never learn, when in fact the teachers didn’t know how to teach them. Most teachers spend their summers taking classes to improve and maintain their skills; let’s have some dyslexic-specific seminars on all levels from pre-school on up. It would be a start to improve what we have in place, since most households no longer have an adult at home to home school.

I’m a dreamer. It’s hard not being satisfied with what is. I see what can be, because I’ve seen what hasn’t worked by the evidence of what is. I believe in math; there is power in numbers. Let’s dream, all of us, of something bigger and better for all of us, and help our children experience some security in this world. There may be no guarantees, but we might even the playing field a bit. It only takes one day to start. Imagine everybody taking one day to start working toward dreams of a better society. And another day. And another.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Love the little trail of yellow pollen spilled down the petals of this magenta mallow, a member of the hollyhock/hibiscus family. Like dangling earrings, a stream of lavender colored wisteria. I don’t know what these delicate two toned pink birdies on green stalks are, but I like them anyway. I also don’t know what this prolific fuchsia colored, lilac shaped bush is, but the bees were loving it.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Still plugging through the old Wiseguy (1987-1990, rated TV – 14) series. Only one set of discs available in the lending library system and disc three is compromised. Tried single episodes for free on Hulu, but they toss you out every few minutes, I’m guessing to inspire you to buy their service. Let me watch one whole episode and I might consider it. Good thing I’m not terribly invested in the plot. * Heavenly Creatures (1994, rated R) a New Zealand production directed by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame. Based on a true story, two 15 year old girls have an intense fantasy life that spins out of control and ends in the ultimate sin. Actress Melanie Lynskey has the best scowling glower ever.

Currently ReadingSwimming Lessons (2017, fiction) by Claire Fuller. Interesting how some books don’t tweak you, like my last fiction read, and others you dive right in and connect. This novel has books and water, my two favorite things. A woman leaves her family in a mysterious way and the plot twists. * Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016, radical politics), by Jane Mayer. How the wealthy twist words that sound like they should be to the benefit of the citizenry into plots to line their own pockets with exploitation and greed. Words like freedom, free market, and free enterprise have different meanings for us and (dare I say it?) them.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Being gifted some golden delicious apples that are scenting the house.
  • Not having to go out in the heat much.
  • Being able to keep the house temperature tolerable.
  • Being able to be mostly naked around the house to keep cool.
  • Story ideas and how they seem to come from nowhere.
  • That story ideas don’t really come from nowhere.
  • Reviving one of my old stories.
  • Learning to finish or be done with a story.
  • New red and white potatoes.
  • Marionberries and black satin blackberries as an alternative to strawberries, which are not thriving much in the Oregon heat.
  • Fat sweet Rainier cherries.
  • Green beans boiled with bacon the way grandma did.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Careers, Education, Family, Food, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Housing, Medicine, Nature, Parenting, Photography, Poetry, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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