Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"They Believe In Different Things"

I've only written about Barack Obama once (okay, twice) since I introduced him to this blog and my other blog in 2006. So, it's possible you don't know what a big deal this election has been to me. I still think this speech in Iowa in 2006 is Obama's best.

[T]here’s always been this other idea of America. This idea that says we have a stake in each other. That I am my brother’s keeper. That I am my sister’s keeper. That I’ve got an obligation. Not just for my self, not just for my family, but also for you. That every child is my child and every senior citizen deserves protection.

A commenter at Dryden Democrats said, "Barak Hussien [sic] Obama's motto could be: 'From each according to his abilities. To each according to his needs.' I understand that this was meant as a warning. But I have to say, it's not the worst idea in the world.

I was talking to a Republican colleague about it recently. Pretend for a moment that we don't know who originated the idea. Just think: in my family (neighborhood, company, community, country) everyone does the best they can and everyone has what they need. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? The idea obviously had some appeal for my Republican friend. I watched his face as he silently puzzled out, "So, why doesn't that work?" He realized quickly that some people don't do the best they can. Some people just head for the break room when the shop still needs cleaning up. And I'll tell you the other part. We don't make sure that people who are doing the best they can get what they need. Maybe it's impossible. But it's not a bad idea. Wouldn't it be good if people could believe that hard work would keep them safe?

Last year in my office there was a "Secret Santa." You know the drill. You draw the name of a co-worker and anonymously give them a gift. No one in my office is particularly well off. But no one's actually hurting either. This year, we called the local school district and got the name of a family that needs help. Well, we didn't actually get the name. We got a description of the four children and what they're wishing for. You can't read the description with out getting a little chill. The teenager wants a scientific calculator and the six year old wants a pink dress. You can't help thinking how easy it would be to provide the things these kids need. Or, of the unused things on your shelves that would really enrich their lives.

If you live in this district and want the contact info for the person who can hook you up with someone who needs help for the holiday, call me. Or just call your school district. They know who needs help.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I had a huge emotional stake in this election, too, and I really believe in what Barack Obama says. We can all do better to help one another, and when I think how fortunate I am, (even compared to some of my own family)it does bring tears to my eyes.

Glad you're back! Happy Thanksgiving.