Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give Thanks

When you take a breath, your lungs filling,
your heart pulsing with your life
give thanks
for the daily unending gift.

When you gaze upward at the untouchable sky
give thanks
for it is infinite and awesome
beyond human understanding.

When you look into the eyes of someone you love
and see those eyes looking back at you
give thanks
for only a loving God could create and sustain that love.

When you sit at a table with an abundance
of food for your taking
give thanks
for you are among the privileged on this earth.

When you look up from your day, your life,
your fears and sorrows
give thanks
and remember God.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Two Cents - The 2012 Election

I have spent more time reading and reflecting upon the politics of the United States during this long and tedious campaign season than I ever have in my lifetime. I am a progressive and believe in the social policies of the Democratic party. However, I made a true effort to understand the conservative Republican way of thinking. Many years ago I identified myself with the Republican party, so it was not as difficult as you might think.

But, as I have written in the preceding posts, my life experiences opened my eyes to the reality of the country I live in.  It is not the country I grew up in - or at least the one I perceived in the 50's and 60's.  After the election one commentator said: "The Republican party is a "Mad Men" party in a "Modern Family" world.  ( In reference to a TV program set in the 1960's versus one set in 2012 with a diverse extended family.)

The fact is that we do not live in a country made of middle-class white families with two children and a dog. Maybe we never did. Maybe that was our own personal experience.

We do live in a country of Hispanics, Blacks, immigrants, gay people, Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists and many struggling people - sometimes through no fault of their own. People who did not have the opportunities, encouragement or support from their middle-class families as many of us did.

I get the fact that there are those who would take advantage of the welfare system. I get the fact that many people resent paying their hard-earned money to care for those people. The problem is that we all pay for the consequences of poverty anyway. Think about it.

I think everyone agrees that government should not constantly interfere in our lives. It's just that we look at that two different ways.  I think preventing people in committed relationships from marrying is government interfering in their lives. I think the government telling a woman what she can do with her own body is interfering in her life.

I see posts on social media by people I know to be very patriotic in their thinking. But those posts today reflect a negativity and unwillingness to respect our re-elected president. To me this is the opposite of patriotism. It is saying  - my way or no way.  It is what we have identified as being wrong with Washington - the inability to work together for the good of the country.  There were Republicans who admitted that their main goal was to make Obama fail. It was heard by many pundits and news anchors as well. If that is one's stance then they can call themselves a party member, but cannot call themselves an American. Because we are all America.

Obama received 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 203 and it was clear that the minorities, women, and immigrants in this country favored Obama. As soon as we all face the reality of what our country is, not what we wish it was,  and we begin working together - only then will be truly to call ourselves the UNITED States of America.