THE BLOG

Taking a Stand

02/17/2015 12:09 pm ET | Updated Apr 18, 2015

Hi everyone!

How is life treating all my SPs? I trust you are all busy doing fun and important things to make your life, and the lives of those you care about, happier and healthier.

I hope you're finding a balanced approach to putting enough effort into your work (even if that's Rewirement work that's of your own choosing!) and finding time to do the things that make you smile and feel wonderful. Not an easy task, but well worth the effort, methinks.

Recently, Mike and I did a driving trip to northern California. As we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and marveled over how lucky we are to live in such a physically spectacular environment, we also noticed how badly in disrepair the roads were, to the point of making us a bit queasy for long stretches at a time.

There were many road signs along the way proclaiming the negative results of California's drought situation... "No Water, No jobs, No Food Growing!"

We talked about how miserable life must be for people totally stressed about situations beyond their direct control that had a huge impact on their family's well-being. I personally know quite a few women, some of whom I've met while doing volunteer work, who are well educated, intelligent, have held responsible, well-paying positions, and due to very unfortunate circumstances, find themselves in very difficult financial states. These people do not fit the traditional mold of the "low-class poor." But they sure could use some financial help. And yet they suffer.

Where is our essential kindness to our fellow humans who are less fortunate? Many of us try to help, by contributing to our favorite causes and charities. Should we be doing more? Is there must be a more direct, effective way for those of us who are able, to help improve the lives of so many people who are hurting?

What about the taxes we pay? Many taxpayers feel most of them are wasted on non-people issues. They're eaten up by political disagreements and paying back the power people who seem to control so many of the decisions government "officials" make.

A seemingly obvious solution we hear often is to have those who can afford it -- proportionately to their incomes, contribute a little more to the government coffers (pay more tax), and be sure it goes directly to the people most in need. It is said that the top 1 percent of people -- the most wealthy among us, have more money than the rest of us combined! Imagine what that extra infusion of a small bit of their incomes would allow in the right places!

Hopefully, using this new source of funds to re-energize financially challenged folks would encourage them to learn a new skill, improve their current knowledge so they can contribute to the decent paying job needs of future technology. Preparing for new jobs of the future could change their currently desperate picture dramatically.

Especially our young people need to understand what sort of career needs they're about to face and be helped to assess whether they have the current knowledge they'll need to compete for them. Helping them pay for their higher learning of this type would sure give them a boost.
I just watched an interview with Bill and Melinda Gates. Sharing their positive experiences with making significant improvements around the world in these very areas gives me hope. Bless their generous hearts and clever minds.

My personal wishes, if I ruled the world (heaven forbid!) is to find ways of teaming with young people beginning in grade school, and try to have a positive impact on their inner values. Many kids think they are entitled to the lives they have. I love to see their reactions when asked, "What if you had been born into a very disadvantaged family, and your life looked like this _____? How do you think you'd cope with living a life like that?" It really makes them stop and think.

Or, "Think about what it's like to live in _______'s skin. How would you cope with his/her challenges?" Most kids have never put themselves in another's skin. They say it sure gives them a lot to think about.

Perhaps as they grow and mature, they'll think more broadly about how they want their world to operate. Maybe they'll have different attitudes and values about how we should share our resources more equitably, and what kind of people we should elect to create that kind of world for us all.

None of these issues -- educational priorities, future thinking, and especially growing kindness and empathy, have simple solutions. But to keep ignoring them is shortsighted and dangerous. The future will not stop creating serious challenges, only add to them. The question is, how and what can we do?

With all the bright, talented people out there who are currently trying to get a handle on these and many other crises, are there angles we still haven't thought of, or talked about passionately enough to other people we admire? Perhaps we don't know how to motivate those in charge to reconsider the options?

Not that I have the answers either. But I sure have lots of questions.

Doesn't the fact that basic decency and involvement by the vast majority of us is in such a sorry state, mean we must keep on trying to find ways to improve our approaches? Feels that way to me.

Do you, my SP, ever think about these huge issues too? What are your thoughts?
I'd love to hear about them. Then we won't feel like we're climbing this mountain alone! Hearing your thoughts would sure make me feel more hopeful, which is what motivated me to share my feeling on this blog.

Here's to a magnificent future -- especially for the generations to come!