Friday, September 28, 2012

Being Green

There are a lot of advertisements and commercial talk these days about being green. Companies, organizations and stores would like people to know they are environmentally conscious.

Great! I support that ethic.

Even the railroads are into the mix, but they have a ways to go.

I was on a Metro North train coming out of Manhattan yesterday and while it was stopped at a station I witnessed a worker emptying the recycle bin.

These bins have three openings. One is labeled “trash”, another “bottles and cans” and the third, “newspapers.”

I watched this guy pull a plastic lined garbage can out of the trash door. It was filled with garbage; the stuff we all throw away. Next he pulled the discarded bottles and cans out of it’s compartment and dumped them in with the garbage trash. Then he opened the third door and took out the newspapers and also dumped them in with the trash.

The purpose of recycling was defeated in a single laziness by Metro North employee.

If we want a pristine environment we must personally choose not to contribute to the fouling of our nest.  No longer can the individual look only to the corporate polluter and say, there is the source of my pain. The self is the source and the self is the healer. 

We are the nature we abuse.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chicago's Teachers Strike

We all understand, with the possible exception of an earmarking Congress, that budgets are necessary, cuts are necessary and we must live within our means. Too often, however, education budgets and teachers' salaries receive a disproportionate amount of trimming and I suspect that thinking still persists.

If we spent on education subsidies the equivalent billions that we spend in fighting wars in just one month's time, America's educational system would be the envy of the world. Since that is not going to happen there is something else each of us can do to show our appreciation to teachers.

Teaching is the noble profession. How many of us cannot think of at least one teacher who influenced our choices, our careers, our character.

It is unfortunate, in our gifted society, that money is often the only form of compensation. What is blatantly missing from the education ledger is appreciation through praise.

Every parent should go to the nearest teacher and say thank you. Thank you for your dedication, for choosing a profession where hours are long and pay low, where influence is vast and gratitude minimal. Thank you for enduring the frustrations of bureaucracy and sometimes dispassionate parents. Thank you for your tolerance and patience in instructional repetition to the daydreamers, the slackers, the frightened, who forget they need an education just to get by, and thank you for your enrichment of the geniuses who may grace our society with greatness.

Teachers are special and blessed, for once they share knowledge with others, teach discernment, logic, ethics, reason and the love of learning, a piece of them lives forever.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hopes and Wishes

Doom and Gloom
© 2012 Rolland G. Smith

Let’s choose some words and play a game
To fit our national mood.
For some it’s doom and some it’s blame;
And some are misconstrued.

But I am sad in what I read
For gloom is part of it.
Investors think the growing seed
Is tarred within a pit.

That may be true and times are tough
And loss does come to mind,
But don’t you think we have enough
And need not more entwined?

We really have a lot to count
For those who keep the score
And when it's bad we all surmount
The issues we abhor.

When global markets scrape the tanks
And numbers breach and fall
Let’s change our thoughts to giving “thanks”
For what we have at all.

We have so much, we’re spoiled kids,
Complaining all the time.
Comparing us to real skids
Our lot is most sublime.

Can we not go from East to West
And turn and then head back
Without a stop to even rest,
No border stops to track.

Do we not have a power source
Without a thought each day?
To me that is a gift perforce
And something we should weigh.

Do we not have a freedom’s grace
To say what all we please?
And let our thoughts then interface
With others in degrees.

We have a vote where some do not
And choice to make it so
Too many say, Oh, I forgot
To pull the lever row.

I’ll bet with thought a list would come
And blend within your mind.
So many gifts where we succumb
And be as if we’re blind.

There are so many things we need
To say we’re thankful for.
The sun is one and flower’s seed,
And mountains and the shore.

A gentle rain is in there too
As is an Eagles screech.
Let’s not forget the morning dew
And those who like to teach.

So when we say we’ve not enough
Complaining here and there.
Perhaps we need to call our bluff
And make the choice to share.

A thank you is oft hard to do
And some think it means weak,
But we should say it and pursue
This way to always speak.

So I will end this post this day
With lofty thoughts in mind
And hope that all who read will say
Tis gloom I leave behind.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You Decide!

From the Washington Post.

"Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance. If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment ... and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care."
This is true. Hospitals will still attempt to bill the indigent and the uninsured.

But what about the elderly who must cut their medication pills in half because they can't pay for the full expense. What about the many other conditions that none of us think of becauses we have not had that kind experience with self or family.

Laws can't never cover all contingencies.

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