I set out to write a different post today but I just received an automated call telling me “death panels to kill the elderly were on the way now that ‘Obamacare’ was in place”. It asked me to press 1 to sign a petition against “this horrific fact”. That I am home working instead of outside the home is a fact of my personal health issues. Aside from people like me, I know who’s home answering these calls — the elderly. How would you like to receive an official-sounding call that says the government will soon be turning you into Soylent Green crackers?
My father was born in 1913. He would have been 100 this year. Upon settling his estate, my siblings and I discovered he’d been taken advantage of by a few companies that sent him more than one bill a month, sometimes three, which of course he paid all, and that left him short of funds for things like food. It makes me furious to think that elders, whose generation never considered scams of this magnitude, are falling prey to fear tactics like death panels.
Every once in a while I step back and try to see my country through another’s eyes. I don’t always agree with things happening here, and I’m the first to admit I often have strong opinions. However true this statement of mine is, I’m not about to make my blog a political platform. Perhaps one day, if I ever achieve a measure of celebrity, I’ll champion publicly the causes I’ve always championed in private. My bottom line has always been this: I’m a firm believer that our country is only as good as the least among us. I’m not alone in this. In fact, this belief goes back a very long way. Many have pondered and paraphrased this sentiment:
“You can judge a nation by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens and animals.”
Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.
~Pearl S. Buck
Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.
A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.
~Hubert H. Humphrey
A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.
~ Mahatma Ghandi
Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members — the last, the least, the littlest.
~Cardinal Roger Mahony
The greatness of America is in how it treats its weakest members: the elderly, the infirm, the handicapped, the underprivileged, the unborn.
I’ve long been a student of the period in history known as The Enlightenment. It’s earliest roots belong to the ancients, for it was their philosophy the rest would stand upon. The Enlightenment began with knowledge shared by the post-bubonic plague tradesmen and the freeing of books from private church libraries. This was followed by the coming of the Gutenberg printing press that put knowledge into the hands of the common man. It expanded with global exploration that opened a world view to peoples living in harmony with their environment without the trappings of western civilization or church doctrine. It was contemplated by great philosophers who revisited the ideology of the ancients and applied those thoughts to their modern world. This coherent rationale percolated mind by mind and was served in the coffee salons of Europe and condensed by Thomas Paine and shortly after by Thomas Jefferson. The Articles of Confederation followed, and the Constitution of the United States came next — an unparalleled model of cooperation and compromise.
Never before was such a nation built from nothing but ideals. The plan wasn’t perfect, the document wasn’t without its flaws. But it was made to be fluid because the founders knew it would have to be for the nation to survive its own inevitable growth. This is why we have Amendments. The basic tenets, the very best attributes of the ancients, could be built upon as needed. The Republic of Rome and the Democracy of ancient Greece gave us a democratic republic by and for the people. The Constitution is a blueprint for “a shining city upon a golden hill” where fairness and equality are the order of the day. Where compassion is free to root and grow and everyone rises because we see our brother’s plight reflected in our eyes, and we do something about it.
I can’t express how annoyed I get to hear politician and pundit alike bandy the US Constitution about when it’s clear they have no understanding of the booklet they hold in their hand. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the showman’s mantra of I carry a copy of the Constitution with me at all times would end? If only these people truly understood the document they wield like a cudgel, then perhaps some good could be done in this nation, and in this world.
Last year I went to Washington DC for the first time in my life. I went feeling the country didn’t belong to me. I went feeling like the government wasn’t mine. Building by building I went. I walked more than six miles a day and absorbed the point of it all. It led me to this one thought on current happenings. Our representatives are playing a dangerous game.
How so? When disasters happen on the homefront the National Guard comes to help. With a pandemic flu poised to strike, the CDC works to keep a finger on the pulse. Hazardous products get screened by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Department of Agriculture and the FDA inspect our food for safety. Homeland Security watches out for acts of terrorism. WIC provides food support for women, infants, and children in need. All of these and more are down to skeleton crews. Tell me which of these things is not necessary? This isn’t about whether tours can take place at the White House or families can go on vacation to the National Parks. It’s far worse. And it’s wrong.
To the game-players in Washington, you are on notice. This is my country you’re playing with and I take voting very seriously. I assure you, I’ll remember.
I saw this today and I just want to say I’m embarrassed for my country.
In a world of information at your fingertips, ignorance is shameful
I’ll leave this rant with one more quote for our representatives in Washington:
The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.
~ Japanese Proverb
“I love you” is universal. Here are a few loving words ~
(French) Je t’aime or Je t’adore
(Italian) Ti amo
(Hawaiian) Aloha Au Ia ‘Oe
(Russian) Ya lyublyu tebya
(Spanish) Te amo or Te quiero
author Cynthia Arsuaga’s blog day.
And over on the RB4U website http://romancebooks4us.com our October contest is underway. Lots of prizes. Find those blinking ghosts. 🙂
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