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Hope Is the Seed of Change

A Forty-three year old woman:

What a dark, dark season for our country.

I don’t feel like using my voice. Everything I would say is already being SCREAMED — online, in articles, in the halls of government — and with better phrasing than I could ever put together.

Nobody is listening.

They:

* Expanded gun rights.

* Removed Miranda rights enforcement.

* Removed women’s reproductive rights.

* Funded religious schools, while also saying they’re untaxable.

* Reworded our history textbooks to hide bad deeds.

* Removed parents’ choice about their own children’s biological therapies.

* Are actively drafting now to revoke equal voting rights.

Minority rights and remedies are the next target, and then gay marriage, and then probably gay existence.

Like pre-war Germany. There were document-able steps to that, and we are currently more than halfway through that list. In the same order. We learned nothing. We didn’t remember the past, and we are doomed to repeat it.

We sit here and pretend our country cares about freedom. It doesn’t.

Meanwhile, other nations have actual travel warning alerts declared on the US because of abnormal violence levels. I’ve downloaded and read them; they sound like you’re going as a tourist to 1970s Vietnam. Those outside our borders can’t believe we don’t all have healthcare covered, or that we’re still even debating equality. They don’t look upon us as a goal; we are internationally mocked as being backwards, uneducated, and very limited in individual freedoms.

I don’t recognize this country.  This isn’t where I thought I lived, and what the military men in my ancestral line fought for.  Today, I don’t see any hope whatsoever.

An eighty-five year old: Eileen Norman

History repeats itself. Both the bad and the good. We are a relatively young country. We still have a lot to learn the hard way. Sad for our progeny. But if we have instilled values and concern for others in them, we’ve done the best we can for the future. They will have to be the revolutionaries for their era. My struggle is trying to open the young’s eyes to the difference between Jesus and his “so called” followers. Christianity has over and over been bought by the powerful and then corrupted. But people with values, who experience the love and wisdom and ability to change His world view of Jesus, rise up over and over and renew it. Nothing is perfect and never has been and never will be. It’s a fallible world of fallible people. As a country we have not suffered like the countries we fled. We don’t recognize the seeds of self-destruction. Your voice is important. Every voice is heard by some. Though mostly we are “preaching to the choir,” every now and then if we are not attacking people rather than movements and laws, a few more will question enough to at least not add to the hate. It’s humbling to feel so ineffective and makes it hard to persevere. You are not alone. Speak your truth just as you have in this post. Thank you for keeping on keeping on when there are no ego rewards in it. Love you.

We Interrupt This Gloom to Offer….Hope

A New York Times article by Nicholas Kristof
A concretely encouraging article for frustrated liberals. Just Google this post’s title.

Blog Challenge: What is an Object that Has Meaning for You? Letter from Albert Einstein

At the age of seventy-eight very few objects have any meaning at all for me. My husband and I have downsized twice, ending up in an apartment so that we don’t have to worry even about inside repairs. Most things we have managed to find room for here are simply practical. So, I tried to think of what I would try to save in case of fire.
Many years ago when our house was threatened by fire, I loaded up our station wagon with my husband’s suits so he could continue to work, our large collection of family photo albums and several paintings I had done. By now, I’ve given most of my paintings to my children and the albums are being left in storage for them to sort out and divide. The truth is, I’ve always been focused on the future and my main interest has been in ideas that can help humanity survive and evolve.

The only object in our house that couldn’t be replaced and that has implications for the future of humanity is a letter signed by Albert Einstein in 1947 to my father, Ralph S. O’Leary, who was an award winning newspaper reporter at that time.

Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists

Trustees:                                                                                                                                                                                      Albert Einstein, Chairman;  Harold C. Urey, Vice-Chairman;                                                         Hans A. Bethe;  T.R. Hogness;  Philip Morse;  Linus Pauling;                                                                                    Leo Szilard;  V. F. Weisskopf        

Dear Friend:

Through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man’s discovery of fire. This basic power of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow nationalisms. For there is no secret and there is no defense; there is no possibility of control except through the aroused understanding and insistence of the peoples of the world.
We scientists recognize our inescapable responsibility to carry to our fellow citizens an understanding of the simple facts of atomic energy and their implications for society. In this lies our only security and our only hope – we believe that an informed citizenry will act for life and not for death.
We need $1,000,000 for this great educational task. Sustained by faith in man’s ability to control his destiny by exercise of reason, we have pledged all our strength and our knowledge to this work. I do not hesitate to call upon you to help.
Faithfully yours,
A. Einstein.

Perhaps this can be a reminder to a world of proliferating nuclear arms from the very men whose brilliance brought them into the world, but who recognized their own responsibility for their danger to humanity.

The Future is no Scarier than the Past / Old Age has its Perks

 

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I finally figured out that all the people I ever was from infancy on still live inside me. It makes for an interesting group most days. And if I don’t like how I feel today, I just return and watch the world when I was having a better time. Young people actually seem impoverished, because they haven’t got a clue about the riches we old guys carry around within us. I wouldn’t trade, because we can go back and be their age inside our memories, but they can’t come forward and enjoy the pleasures of a party without having to drive miles, spend hundreds or pay later with a hangover.
We do know more dead people and we have seen more tragedies up close and personal, so sometimes we hover protectively over our grandchildren. But we can look back at the past and our track record helps us trust that grace will continue to get us through even the hard things the future may bring.
As bad as our world seems in 2015, anyone having experienced life even in America for almost eighty years has witnessed a lot of rough history. Though we now know more about the evil in the world than we once did, the evil was always there. I find when I focus on the evils we haven’t overcome, I fear for coming generations. But when I look back even just on the changes in the world that I have experienced personally, I become more hopeful for the future.
Is having an armed presence in your school any more terrifying than living in homes with blackout curtains for fear of enemy bombers in the nineteen forties or huddling in a school hall during practice warnings of atomic attacks in the fifties. Is the number of families in this generation with members lost fighting in foreign countries anywhere close to the number in the second world war? Is fear born of lack of information as severe now as it was when we huddled around a radio to listen to news of Pearl Harbor or the beaches of Normandy. Children still die or are crippled from disease even in first world countries, but nothing like the numbers in the years before the polio vaccine. Are the numbers of African Americans isolated in ghettos, killed by police, harmed and held back by prejudice anywhere near the numbers in the fifties? Are all the top jobs in the corporate world still held by men? Are people still dying from aids at an alarming rate even in the first world? No matter how horrifying terrorists are today, have they managed inhumanity on the scale of Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, or even Harry Truman at Nagasaki?   The answer to all of these is no.
Yes, there are new diseases, new dangers, new stresses and new groups struggling for equality. It is obviously not heaven on earth, but humanity is a work in progress. Our track record gives us reasonable hope that we will find ways to overcome more and more of these problems in each era.
Age, if we look at even our own life span’s historical picture, can give us a perspective.