Archive for the ‘citizenship’ Category

What is Essential After this Election   1 comment

What is essential after this election?

I can’t stop thinking about my friends and family who are minorities–and Americans.

What must they be feeling as they look around themselves at neighbors, co-workers, bosses, school-mates, in states and precincts where they know that most of those who voted, voted for Donald Trump?

Mr. Trump’s attitude toward the public’s response to his comments has generally been belligerent, although he did give an apology regarding the video of his crude remarks about women.   He hasn’t attempted to mitigate his racist and elitist views.  Others have attempted to apologize for him, but that’s definitely not the same thing.  So it follows that people in the groups he thinks little of are wondering what it means for them and their children that overnight their citizenship has been transferred to a state which will be run by a person who hates.

How can they not be afraid of what may come next?

And I know my friends are thinking this, worrying how their neighbors will feel free to treat them, because they are saying so.

I would like to know why people who are respectful and kind voted for a leader who is none of those things.  How will it work in our country when those in authority say things that, I trust, your mother taught you never to say?  I’m thinking of the rules we learned as children, such as, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” and “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.”  These are the foundational rules of our society.  But this election’s results prove that Mr. Trump was correct when he decided those rules are for lesser mortals.

Please tell me why it has become OK for our nation’s elected leader to treat other human beings with a disregard that would not otherwise be tolerated in any venue.

What is essential now is that people with heart and kindness work overtime to show their friends and neighbors that their position in our society has not changed.  We must work ten times harder than before to bridge the gap, to reach out the hand, and to speak up for others.

We must.


Posted November 14, 2016 by swanatbagend in citizenship, community

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Election Day   2 comments

I wasn’t as surprised by this election’s results as I would have been if I hadn’t been driving across the midwest and southwest in October.  I saw many Trump/Pence signs as we traveled and very few for Clinton.  Thus I had a heads up that the pundits and the surveys might actually be wrong.

So I wasn’t shocked last night or this morning.

Yet I still am concerned.

I don’t think things are as dire as Donald Trump says they are.  I don’t think we need him to make America great again.  America is already great.  We may not be able to claw ourselves to the very top of the international pile, but that is not what is necessary to make a nation great.  Any student of history can tell you that world powers rise and fall.  We have not fallen as far as the paranoia tells us, and we can exert ourselves to live in a way that makes us good and great, with or without Donald Trump.

But as much as I think this campaign was run on a platform that does not align with reality, that is not my main concern.

I call on every one of us to remember that just because our president-elect is, unbelievably, openly nasty to people he doesn’t like, each of us does not have to be that way.  We can choose to deliberately shun his ugly attitudes toward others.  We can choose to reject the name-calling he brought to the campaign.  There’s no excuse for any adult human to dismiss other people in this way.

Mr. Trump has changed the tenor of political dialog from merely rude, to hateful and childish.  There is nothing here to emulate.

But I plan on moving forward utilizing this helpful question, “What would Donald Trump not do?”

It should serve me pretty well.

Posted November 10, 2016 by swanatbagend in character, citizenship

Kentucky Doesn’t Have Much to Do with Ohio   2 comments

Have you ever noticed that once you cross the bridges in Cincinnati and hit the north side, there are very few Kentucky license plates to be seen?

I’ve often noticed that folks from some states just don’t travel as far afield as others.  When we go west on camping trips, we always study license plates, and also on our way to Florida.  On those trips we see Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, Colorado, all the time.  Ohio sometimes.  Eastern states such as New York, New Jersey, North or South Carolina, sometimes.  Even Canadian plates aren’t all that rare as you drive around the Midwest.

But what we almost never see then are plates from the south.

And, in our area what I’ve noticed is that we (speaking for Kentuckians as a group) don’t travel far either.  In Tennessee there aren’t many Kentucky plates.  In Missouri, there aren’t many.  And in Ohio, the closest of all to our area, there are very few.

Kentucky just doesn’t seem to have much to do with Ohio.

Before I moved here I wouldn’t have believed it, but there really does seem to be a dividing line in some ways that says that Kentucky is still part of the south, and not part of the Midwest.  It’s an interesting blend of both, I think, but as far as travel habits, and institutions and cultural patterns that people identify with–I think Kentuckians for the most part would definitely see the Ohio River as one river that is too wide to cross.

My son attends college in Ohio, and while I met two other Kentucky parents there at orientation, I didn’t have the sense to exchange contact information with them so we could carpool together later.  I’ve never found them again, and, further, while my son has many classmates from Pennsylvania–including his roommate, some from varied countries, and even some from little ol’ New jersey, he has met nobody else from Kentucky.

At all.

It’s interesting.

Posted March 29, 2016 by swanatbagend in citizenship

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Name Calling   1 comment

I recently read an article online in the Conservative Tribune about Maine’s new guidelines regulating the receipt of welfare benefits.  Here’s the link:

I don’t object to setting things up so that those who are able can get job skills, volunteer, do things that will move  themselves and their communities forward.

I do have a couple of concerns.  Any writer has a slant and will tend to lean on it.  What I mean is that at least some of the time there might be a reason a person cannot meet the new requirements.  Perhaps, he might not have reliable transportation to the scene of job training or volunteering.

The other is the tone of the article.

I would think that among conservatives who write for and read the magazine there would be quite a few people of faith, as it’s not uncommon for people of faith to have conservative values.

So if you are a person of faith, is it really necessary to call another human being a leech?

Posted March 31, 2015 by swanatbagend in citizenship, the church

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I Voted Today   Leave a comment

As in most years, I didn’t do as much homework as far in advance as I should have.  But, I did do some research in the last few days leading up to the elections, and I also knew enough about a few of the candidates already to know whether I wanted to vote for them or not.

One of the candidates actually came to my door and shook my hand.

And yes, I did vote for him.  He had made what he did and could do for me very personally relevant.  When you live in a rural area, it’s good to know there will be an immediate response from 911 if you have a problem and that the officer who responds won’t be coming from an hour away.

Anyway, my point today is why I voted.

I don’t know if I’m like a lot of other people.  I would imagine so, but either way, this is my true confession.

I do not enjoy voting.

Every election year I am sorely tempted to not vote.  Life is so full and there are so many other topics I need to research and learn about in the course of parenting and homeschooling, the candidates are fairly far down my list.

But when it comes down to it, I can’t not vote.

My reasons?

They aren’t positively inspirational but here is the truth.

One: I promised the members of the Lions Club in Sulphur Oklahoma who awarded me a college scholarship that I would vote.  These good men gave me money to get through college.  I can’t let them down.

Two: Inevitably, I think about my great-grandmother, a parent like me 100 years ago, who was not allowed to vote.  What the suffragists did for me always gets my attention.  I can’t let them down either.

Not great reasons.  But they get me out the door to the polls.

Posted November 5, 2014 by swanatbagend in citizenship

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