Friday, March 8, 2013

Just So You Know

The sub-heading of my blog title is "If I knew, I'd tell you..." which means it's on me to impart a little knowledge, now that I know some more stuff since the last time I said something. (We're using the term 'know' loosely here.)

First, Rand Paul is an impressive guy, as is his dad Ross Perot and his cousin, Paul Ryan... kidding! Lots of RPs and PRs in that group - do the Repubs letter-coordinate? No matter. Rand is an impressive guy - like his real dad, consumate presidential candidate Ron Paul - because he does not wuss out on his convictions. I think some of his convictions are batty, but they're fully supported by his actions in most cases. I know if we had more of that sincere discourse in our public arena we'd be an entirely different country. For the better.

Next, I'm quite certain none of us escape the "I know someone who" reference to children with special needs or gay men/women or people without medical insurance or someone who lost a job. We also know someone who works for or attends or attended a public school. We're likely to have at least one family member or friend who's got trouble with addiction and we've all had some interaction in some capacity with someone who entered this country illegally. (Set aside that if you're not Native American you or your ancestors entered illegally too.) So we've got to stop acting like all the public policy discussions around these issues relate to someone else. They relate to us. I know that lack of self-interest in protecting every single American or intending American is a failure to be American.

Also, this past week my children have not been assigned homework, other than to rest well and keep a balanced diet, as they engage in two-weeks' worth of standardized testing. I'll lay off my rant on standardized testing long enough to say, "Wow! What a relief!" We've had such a great week. We've played games together, cooked, had long conversations, kept TV to a minimum, and read lots. It's been so great and I've loved every minute. I wish every week could be like this and so I've contemplated speaking up at school to ask if we can have more of this time, even when not testing. The problem is I'm not sure every child is coming home to a family that can address the extra time with activities that are intellectually stimulating and emotionally rewarding. I'm not even sure most kids will go home at all, unless they have assignments they must complete. So I can't see my way clear to make a fuss about this at school because I know if I'm successful in instigating a change, it may not be in the best interests of many children.

Last, I'm not ideologically aligned with Rand Paul on most things. I'm not gay and I am legally married and I'm thankful not to include among my troubles a child with health problems or a worry that we'll be deported. My children come home to a family that is prepared for them and able to spend time keeping them safe and engaged. But that does not mean I don't recognize when someone different from me does something admirable, or when someone unlike me needs my support or care. I do recognize it and I try to lend my (some would say overbearing) voice to their concerns because I believe that is what makes me a worthwhile person. I hope others do the same for me, though I may never know it. I don't require reward or thanks. I know there is good in doing good for good's sake. (A quick slip of the keyboard might make that 'for God's sake' and I'm not sure that wouldn't be more accurate.)

So, just so you know, it's o.k. to celebrate and support some things that don't matter to you personally, because personally, I think it all matters to some person.

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