Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear America,

There is this thing going on within my family; it's really just the typical family feud, you know, the kind that generates atom bombs dropping out of our mouths over politics and religion -- but long distance? via email? Not sitting across the dinner table with the conversation followed up with a piece of pie and whipped cream?  Without question, this modern way certainly holds a fair share of limitations of making a point, a connection, or even so much as a simple compassionate understanding of our differences. 

Funny, as things change, things always stay the same.

I have a family member who said this,
"Well, when I was a republican [sounding in utter disgust that she was]. I believed that we were morally superior! [exclamation included]  I wouldn't doubt that you and your father have the same belief today! [yet another exclamation]  At this point, age 69, I believe moral superiority depends most on each individuals positive self-awareness and active support/contribution to resolving our massive social problems.  While people need to be responsible for themselves, if they are not given the tools or opportunities to do so/grow so, the idea itself is moot."
So what you are saying really, is that G baby, as a conservative, is a pompous, self-righteous, arrogant daughter of an SOB, born and raised in ignorance, superficial superiority and offer nothing good to society? Very well then, besides my first response of imploring everyone to  -- keep moving, there's nothing to look at here -- somebody please pass me the pie, this may take awhile.

Let's just start with the aspect of "depends most on each individuals positive self-awareness and active support/contribution"...yeah, that would be good, let's start there.

Oh my goodness, we're back to family values!  Isn't that ironic.

We start with those who influence you the most, right from the start, with dear old mom and dad.

You are so right, my favorite relative of mine in this moment -- our security, our beliefs, our faith, our ability to rise up as a human being all begin from the moment we are born into a family; the weight and responsibility to grow good citizens and a morally sound child begins at home.  We've been here before -- a nation of good parents creates a nation of good children and then they grow up to be a nation of responsible adults; it's not that complicated.

Where you have me lost my dear loved one is where you began the sentiment -- you preceded where it all begins with an objective I'm not too familiar with -- that being a MORAL SUPERIORITY --  "I believe moral superiority depends most on each individuals positive self-awareness and active support/contribution..."

By definition, what you are saying in essence, is that a person's ambition should be that of taking a higher station or authority over another, morally speaking, in a not so holier-than-thou sort of way?

Have you misspoke?  G loves the idea of "active support/contribution"...but "moral superiority"...

Isn't the very context of having a "moral superiority" an outright expression of a dichotomy of values in the first place? 

Wouldn't it be more correct to say we wish that everyone just simply had morals and values and worked towards building a nation from that foundation; why the bother to wonder who's is better than who's?  While the superiority factor alone conjures up all kinds of faults dating back throughout history, who in their right mind would want to go there?

No, it may have taken a few bumps and bruises from previous generations of people who knew no better, but our nation wasn't built on the idea of superiority; we try our hardest and do our darnedest to give everyone a chance, starting in the place where it counts the most -- in the home -- to promote equality, the ability to grow up to be anything you want to be, fair and square, with as much of that responsibility to the welfare and future of each child falling on the shoulders of the parents who raise them. It's not that complicated.

As one example, even when society gave minorities a home at a very low cost -- what we call "the projects" in most every major city -- the system failed.  Hmmm?  Why?

It's not because they didn't have a roof over their head.
It's not because they couldn't go to school.
It's not because they weren't smart enough.
It's not because they didn't believe in God.

It's because somewhere down the line a parent(s) failed to teach and guide and shelter and protect and love and honor and give the moral support required of them to raise their child fully and into a child of good character.

But "moral superiority" -- that simply has no place on American soil -- that's how I was raised.

Proud to be American? That's affirmative.

Is G proud to live in the greatest country in the world, a country that can take credit for creating the very idea that is firmly planted in our heritage -- and should be stamped upon every forehead -- that only in America can one truly become anything you want to be, do anything you want to do, live anywhere you want to live, with all the freedom in the world -- as long as you don't harm somebody, of course?  You betcha.

Obama came from modest means, right?  He came from a broken home and still got to the best seat in the house.  Oprah, from modest means and after years of abuse, sits at the head of the boardroom of one of America's wealthiest business conglomerates to date; while over the years she has carried more influence upon the hearts and minds of our nation than anyone in modern history.  And Tiger -- in spite of the lack of showing sound moral character and far be it for me to judge (yet thee without sin cast the first stone...)  while currently taking an indefinate break, he rests soundly on the laurels of being the best golfer of all time. 

Musicians, sports phenomenons, talk show hosts, politicians, activists, educators, ministers, mothers and fathers, come from nothing time and time again and become something -- and sometimes not just something -- but the very best thing.

Some people do come from despair, come from nothing, a heartbreaking home and horrific parents -- but the commonality to rise up and become something, in spite of it or to prove something, is in all of us.

"While people need to be responsible for themselves, if they are not given the tools or opportunities to do so/grow so, the idea itself is moot." liberal relative 101
RIGHT ON, my dear one!
The opportunities are there; from birth, it's called having parents teach us right from wrong. And every parent can do it quite favorably if they put their mind to it and make it so -- you know, grow so -- unless of course you are telling me, liberal relative 101, they are inferior in some way, shape or form. 

It's called having a parent instill in you the need to go to school; in America it is free and equally offered to one and all, even girls.  While the education budget continues to grow, the commitment at home hasn't faired so well over the years.  And white middle (to upper) class is equally at fault; money and gifts and a liberal dose of too much freedom does not take the place of good old-fashioned time;  time after school making sure they do homework, time involved knowing who their friends are, time over family dinner including talking about your day, time taking control over the remote and stop babysitting with TV, and time certainly putting your children to bed at a decent time -- surely, the best time of all, being tucked in tight with a kiss on the cheek.

It's called having a parent take you to church; but if not part of the 66% of American families sitting in a church pew on a typical Sunday morning, then the duty falls directly and handsomely down to the parent to guide and teach by their own example.  Gangs are not the new gospel. Drugs are not the spiritual high that our children need.  While we know from experience, violence from a hand across the face to a household built in fear can surely be saved by the grace of God and surrounded with the love and support of a benevolent congregation.

Affirming A Good Education

The 2010 Department of Education budget page highlights the following:
ED currently administers a budget of $62.6 billion in regular FY 2009 discretionary appropriations and $96.8 billion in discretionary funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—and operates programs that touch on every area and level of education. The Department's elementary and secondary programs annually serve nearly 14,000 school districts and approximately 56 million students attending some 98,000 public schools and 34,000 private schools. Department programs also provide grant, loan, and work-study assistance to more than 13 million post secondary students
And when you include ALL public and private expenditures on education, recorded for the year 2007, the United States totalled $972 Billion Dollars (not absolute/per wikipedia)...but my point, I don't think the money is what holds us back.

Parents only need to be responsible to a point -- then the government takes over? 

Individuals need to be accountable only to a certain age -- then the nanny state can take over?

Aren't the tools already within us -- the aspirations to be something, produce something, build something, and just simply be of value -- if not for the world, but for our children, and if not for them, for our own self-esteem and purpose unto itself -- you know, to grow so, equally within each and every one of us? 

Please, I beg of you, tell me the color of our skin or lack of any kind does not change that which God hands out to everyone of equal portion?

My sixty nine year old relative who sparked the conversation of today grew up in a different day than mine.  A whole generation separates us -- and clearly, we are worlds apart on many things.

I grew up being walked home, all the way up Perry Street, by a little black boy named James Rutledge in the fourth grade and thinking nothing of it.  Busloads of minority students would be integrated all the way across town to my high school in a suburban Southern California neighborhood everyday; graduating from the same teachers and the same education as me.  Affirmative Action ensures post secondary education is extended to those who may not otherwise have an opportunity for anyone who strives for furthering their personal goals. In today's America, some jobs and contracts are only set aside for companies held in ownership by minorities, fighting against issues of racism or sexism; while litigation against any company not holding to the principles of maintaining the privilege of being an Equal Opportunity Employer, is at an all time high.

Everyday America gets better at being better people, and building a stronger nation, providing equally under the rule of law.  Our Christian roots gave us the foothold, while these values continue to pave the way and enlighten us of ways we can improve even more with each rise of the morning sun.

But nothing.
And I mean nothing.
Nothing can take the place of the moral responsibility of one human being to another, of a parent to a child.

Morality is an equal opportunity cornerstone to character; real superiority lies within all of us to grow it.

If nothing else, be good today and
Make it a Good Day, G

here's a link to a happy ending that is worth a read and a tissue;
Not everyone makes a good parent right from the start; but angels unaware are everywhere.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I'm glad that you are blogging and sharing your passion with the world. I'm not happy that this extended email debate has arisen because it seems destructive to me. But if the people involved like doing it, who am I to judge? I assume it is meeting some need in their lives (although I must admit that sometimes when my children bicker, I just tell them to stop. Period) I don't really think you can convince people to change their beliefs unless they are seeking to change. I think that, overall, people can solve more problems if they focus on what they have in common. It's like focusing on whether the cup is half full, or half empty. Christmas is such a special time of year to focus on love, compassion, and hope. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!