Monday, November 03, 2008

What This Election Means to Me

A good friend assigned our little circle of friends a homework assignment... not to be graded not to be judged. "What Does This Elections Mean to You" he asked.

This post is not to persuade anyone because by now, your mind is probably made up. This post is to simply put down a few reasons why this election is important to me and why I believe Barack Obama is the best candidate for the President of the United States of America.

Let me say first, that I have not memorized each policy proposal and I can't "put up a good fight" over policy either. I didn't major in Political Science so I may not have all of the quotes and citations that I should in order to justify my beliefs. However, I have issues I feel very deeply for and I believe in the power of prayer and discernment and these are the tools that I used in making my choice.

My first heart's cry for change is for our children, particularly the ones with "no hope." For four years I have worked in the Special Education department on the west side of town... the poor side..."the ghetto"..."the wrong side of the tracks," a Title I, free meals elementary school and I have seen poverty at it's worst. Everyday, I have seen students ranging from Kindergarten through fifth grade walking down the hall after breakfast on their way to class with muffins stuffed in their pockets and a half chewed biscuit stuffed in both cheeks because they had to eat in a hurry and worry about having food later. So they take what's left over or what their buddy doesn't eat and hope that the teacher won't make them throw it away. I have let a little boy sleep in my room because he was so tired from being up all night in the emergency room with his mother after her boyfriend cut her arm and threw her down the stairs. He watched it all. Last year I took a 7 year old little girl to the nurse's office because she was complaining that her foot hurt. When the nurse and I examined her foot we saw an open wound so infected that the center of the cut was throbbing as the surrounding skin tried to protect the rest of her foot. The smell was awful. She had a bright red line under her skin that ran up her leg... staff infection. She explained that a couple of months earlier (that summer) she was chasing the ice cream truck and stepped on a piece of glass. She was not taken to a doctor or the hospital - no insurance. She said she didn't want to tell her mother that it was still hurting because her mama's boyfriend tried to push a needle in the sore to get the pus out and that it hurt so bad she didn't want him to try it again.  And perhaps the most haunting situation I have encountered was when I was obligated to write a report for DHR to report that a first grade boy had seen his crack addicted mother feeding her 2 year old son dirt and making him sleep on the floor because she didn't like him and "always gets mean to him when she drink that clear stuff out of that clear bottle." Poverty, single parented homes, drug and alcohol addicted parents, teen pregnancies and STDs... it needs attention and it needs real efforts.

Another big issue that means a lot to me and to our planet's future is the environment, clean air and water, land and wildlife conservation, and more efficient energy sources. No one can deny that we are taking so much more from this beautiful Earth than we are giving back and we need a clear cut plan with measurable goals, time lines, and accountability.

And the third issue, perhaps the most important of them all... where does faith belong in America? So many arguments between Republicans and Democrats, especially in the Bible Belt land, stem from the moral issues and controversies (you know the ones I'm talking about). For me it isn't even about whether I am FOR or AGAINST these things. I am FOR people that have issues and decisions to to make... as we all do. People that have empty spaces in their hearts and voids to fill. If we keep fighting our own religious battles here in America it will eventually divide us completely. I am not saying that we should all just throw our hands up and say "to each his own" because to say that would almost suggest that no one should care for or after another and that is not the way we should be living. The truth is we have to live together and work together, and make laws together, and help one another, and disagree with each other but agree to somehow find a compromisable commonground if not for us for our children, and their children. Ok, I am probably starting to ramble so PLEASE take time to read this speech given by Obama called "Call to Renewal Keynote Address" June 28, 2006. It's amazing, I think anyway.

Get out and vote. God Bless America.


Nick M. said...

Well said my dear.

Mary said...

This was one of the best election day post I read. As an educator, you have such a unique perspective. Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie said...

Aren't you going to tell us about going back to work? Or how the girls are doing? We want to hear!