Saturday, October 8, 2011
A Saturday Reflection
It’s an understatement to say that we have a big communication gap because a lot of us have not walked in someone else's shoes. We take it for granted that our view is shared by the majority. I grew up in a low middle-class family because my stepfather was fortunate enough to work at Foster Air Force base and later at another federal job. Oh my gosh a federal job but he also served in WWII, another federal job. I was also blessed with good luck to live in an era where layoffs were uncommon and jobs were plentiful. My laboring days are over, so I can't relate to the working middle class any more. I have an idea of what they're going through, but that's it.
I was surprised by to hear my fellow retirees were getting out of the stock market because they could not stand the volatility. This was one breakfast where I mostly listened with sadness because some of my old buddies are struggling with their health and medication. A couple of them were with Bank of America, but the $5.00 fees for debit cards angered them, so they're moving their money to another bank. Tuesday's breakfast was a wakeup call; I may be in their shoes one day. A friend of mine lost his wife four years ago, but he always speaks fondly of her, as if she was still alive until he realizes, she's not, then he invariably ends his story teary eyed. I know that I always say I won't go to another one of these gatherings, but when an old friend calls, I change my mind.
After six years on the forum, I'm still convinced that we are not mature enough to talk about the confederate flag flying over government buildings, affirmative action, unemployment, or anything having to do with race or religion. The analogies don't even make sense because they are not carefully thought out. Most of the comments are meant to be taken to the water's edge, with a warning to the monitors, not to delete. Even if the poster's comments get deleted; that poster gets satisfaction because he/she got to see his vile comments at the VA, even if it was for a short time.. If someone laughs or offers support of the stupid comment, it makes it that much better. I've been around a few years, but I've never seen people act like that in person. That's too bad because I've always wanted to get into discussions that don't have to be controversial, but normally are. Their responses read like something that a 12-year old would post. For instance, what's a cup cake sale to demonstrate against the unfairness of affirmative action, have to do with NBA stars? What's the difference between getting preferential treatment because your parents attended the university, and affirmative action? In the first place, it's not white people against minorities because minorities did not protest in favor of affirmative action. It was white lawmakers who came up with the idea. I don't like anyone standing up for white people or minorities because there are white people who agree with affirmative action but may think it's time to take another look at it, and they are minorities that believe we don't need it at all. Then there are the unofficial spokesmen for the white race, who apparently don't know that over 125, ethnicities make up that group, so which group is he representing? I don't know why a social experiment such as affirmative action can't be discussed on its merits without people feeling that they are somehow discriminated against. Instead of a cupcake demonstration, the drama team should've taken this up as an issue, and then they could have published the results. I've seen a couple of debates where I was overwhelmed with the civility, information, and protocol in discussing the important issues of our day. I may be getting too old because I think we have a lot of 12-year old mentalities in our forum where " oh yeah, and you are another one" will get more attention than a civil debate.
I've never been for a culture of dependency, but I know it exists. I don't make excuses for it, but I ignore those that want to use it for a wedge issue. I've always asked myself if I would ever take public assistance. It's something we all discussed at work, yes it's easy to say we wouldn't, but I would like to think that I wouldn't let my pride be the reason my children went to bed hungry. It's easy to preach, when the likelihood of ever needing public assistance is almost nil. I certainly wouldn't brag about it or judge those unfortunate enough to need assistance. We always get that well scripted answer, of “I don't mind caring for the needy but most of the unemployed doesn't want to work." Most us don't mind caring for the needy, but some of us don't think a majority of the unemployed is shiftless and lazy. Therein lies the difference.
It's getting to be a habit for me to let out all my frustration that I accumulated during the week by writing a Saturday blog. It's pretty good therapy, and I don't have to post my frustration at the VA where it probably be much misunderstood, but it doesn't really matter because all they'll do is look at a couple of words that I posted and fire back the usual schoolyard garbage. The forum does give me a lot of good ideas on how I can explain my side without confronting people that just want to fight. Can I go toe -to- toe with the trolls, absolutely, doesn't take much brain power to fire back an insult. I've done that, but it's not satisfying besides after a while a person like that will be stereotyped as a troll....This way I can ignore the troll bait and someday I might not have a need for a Saturday vent blog.
I do have to give credit to Rebecca because I stole her idea of having a blog to vent. You take that, and words of inspirations from on- line friends just to get through a week of posting at the VA. One day it will get better because the 12 year old mentality will grow up and realize, a difference of opinion ,is just that.