“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where-” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“-so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice Added as an explanation.
Down the rabbit hole. Our nation is down the rabbit hole.
Collectively, we feel trapped, confused, helpless, and angry. We are afraid.
I, too, feel all those emotions. But, what I feel the strongest is frustration. Like Alice, all I want is to get… SOMEWHERE.
When did we fall down the rabbit hole? Does it matter? I would love to say it is irrelevant how we got here. But, I can’t. On our journey, we stumbled over our own fear..er..feet. We’ve fallen, and can’t seem to get up.
We read our children stories, like Alice in Wonderland, hoping to teach them the importance of life choices. We encourage them to dream and set goals. We help them develop courage, determination, and perseverance. We teach them that not trying is the only true failure.
Well, look at us! Aren’t we quite the hypocrites? Even now, when our inability to act is harmful to our children, we do nothing and go nowhere. From our comfortable spot in the pit, we point fingers. We blame blacks, women, gays, immigrants, republicans, democrats, or the poor. Our children, remembering what they’ve been taught, see the grown-ups bicker, complain, and remain…stuck.
We stress to our children the value of education, yet do nothing about this and this. If we proclaim that education opens doors for our sons and daughters, shouldn’t it actually do so? We must prepare our children for adulthood by improving ALL of our schools. Wealth and/or vouchers shouldn’t be necessary to receive a quality education. Nor should college costs ride a person’s back well into middle age, forcing them to take up residence in a parent’s basement.
We teach our youth to play by the rules, yet allow this. If we want them to know that playing by the rules is the right thing to do, we must ensure that they grow up in a world where that is expected. Of everyone. Corporations are allowed to (legally) cheat the system. This is a no-brainer, right? It’s broken, we fix it. Ah, that would make too much sense. So, our kids grow up observing that greed is the key to success. There goes the sharing is caring lesson.
While we are pointing fingers on climate change, things like this happen. Why is this even a continuing debate? Overwhelmingly, scientists agree that our planet is being stretched too thin. Natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy and the massive tornado in Oklahoma, are going to continue. We have been warned, again and again, about this. Is this garbage really easier to believe than 97% of scientists??
As we bicker about who is more patriotic, tragedies like Sandy Hook go unaddressed. Unless you count this. Our children are told repeatedly that violence is not the answer because it never solves anything. Ha!! Have you noticed that our culture is becoming more violent by the day? Yeah, kids have, too. When we have opportunities to come together, and make decisions that will save their lives, we should take them. Perhaps, they need to give us a pep talk about bullying, eh?
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
J. K. Rowling
Let’s choose a direction. We’ll never get somewhere, if we don’t. Our children deserve that much.
To them, everything is magical. Anything is possible. Adults know better. We are aware that no Cheshire Cat or Elder Wand exists. Life is a series of choices (or unfortunate events, depending on perspective). We learn from mistakes, and try again.
Enough crying and complaining! The next generation is watching. If there is an outcome we desire, let’s elect representatives who will help us achieve it. Those that don’t..replace them. Occasionally, we will learn that our ideas aren’t good ones. If that happens, we change direction. Life has taught us all that there is often more than one way to get where you’re going. Remember, the failure is in not trying.
So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Choose to educate yourself. Then, choose to act.