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Archive for September, 2011

Party Time

Most of my life I’ve considered myself apolitical. As a product of parochial school I admit I am inclined towards a sense of social justice.  I like to consider myself capable of critical thought so my voter registration officially lists me as an independent. When I cast my ballot it is from a framework of what candidate, proposal or amendment makes the most sense to me. My choices are not determined by what “my” political party is pushing.

            During the last 24 months, our country has been assailed by a confluence of crises: economic meltdown, investment scams, banking failures, massive unemployment, record-breaking weather disasters, international political upheaval and an enduring threat of terrorist activity.  Simply reading the list is daunting. Addressing and solving each of them requires time, money, leadership and individual participation.  Everyone must be part of the solution not just part of the noise.   

            America and Americans are struggling. Yet much of the political energy in this country is being expended on defeating the party in office and ensuring that Obama is a one-term president. The mission has become eliminating his prospects for re-election by undermining, blocking or simply not supporting the president’s ideas. It’s the “unfortunate” price of ousting Democrats. This misplaced emphasis is appalling to me. “Hello!” The cost of this approach is continued crises.  People remain unemployed. Homelessness increases. Do Republicans not realize that the bottom line of this tactic is the expectation that Americans will flounder for four more (now two more) years simply so they can say the Democrats failed and get their turn at bat.

            Our focus should be on committing to the success of proposed solutions so that the country—the people of America— can enjoy the basics of American citizenship: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We cannot afford this you-against-me approach. Working together for the health of the country is a far superior goal to simply ousting the other party out of office.

            Please, quit blaming and start cooperating. Stop being a Democrat or a Republican and be an American. Those statistics—each of them represents a person, a family, a neighbor. When you consider propositions, imagine your spouse, friend or neighbor’s face as you tell them why this is the best option. Look into their eyes. Do a gut check with your conscience and then choose how you will be part of the solution.

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On the Virtual Road Again

     Lightning pummeled our area, accompanied by a deafening chorus of thunder. As I sat at my desk one bolt came close enough to create a spark on the metal window frame. The sound waves nearly levitated me from my chair. With that rowdy display Mother Nature severed my umbilical cord from the internet. I was no longer able to reach www.anything_or_anyone. untethered, free-floating, on my own. Out of touch.

     Five hours have passed and I’m feeling withdrawal. I’m startled to realize I’ve become hooked on a regular pulse of internet fixes. Whether it is to check on friends, to gather information for a project, to post on my blog or to log onto my corporate site I depend on the internet for my connection to the outside world.

     My work—family coaching and writing—is accomplished at home and for the most part in solitude. I am surprised to realize how I’ve come to depend on the web to replenish myself with an infusion of connectivity. The social networks I formerly judged as silly have become a channel for staying in touch with the geographically scattered tribes of which I am a member. In the absence of the proverbial water-cooler, the net has provided me with a virtual coffee-break where I banter, tease, collaborate, intrigue and console.

     As I reflect, this interruption in “virtuality” provides an opportunity to create both a new appreciation and some limitation on my trips on the internet. To traverse the threads of the Web without getting stuck on a hamster wheel of distractions, requires discipline. I’ve decided to add “Cruise Director” to the many hats I wear. Much to my hubby’s chagrin; it’s another unpaid position.

     I know somebody forwarded an e-mail that demonstrates how to cure an “allergy to a paycheck.”  I’ll print it out for St. George as soon as my internet service gets restored.

     After several phone calls, a trip to comcast and installing new equipment, I am reconnected–obviously–and once again speeding down my virtual highway. Checking in, checking up and moving on.

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