In the founding of our nation the political system was organized such that people sent to Washington to represent local residents were expected to be better educated and overall better able to decide the affairs of the nation. At all times on all levels elected officials were expected to act in the best interest of their constituents.
The system has held together for more than 200 years in spite of a history of wealth and privilege being the qualifying characteristics for too many Congressional members. Earlier this month a man in a meeting spoke from his heart saying, "We are forgotten." He was speaking of politicians at every position but most concerned about our members of Congress in Washington.
The discussion that followed exemplified the feelings of so many. Politicians attend meetings during election campaigns and speak with flowery words aimed at swaying the hearts and minds of the audience. But once the election is done and the oath of office taken far too many of us voters find ourselves forgotten as our voices are no longer heard or at least no longer heeded.
There is a rising sense of dissatisfaction among many ordinary citizens these days in our nation and around the world as leaders both elected and appointed continue to make decisions which too often run contrary to both the wishes and the best interests of the voting populous. Dissent is often ignored by our elected officials when the opinions voiced do not meet those of the official and others in the same group. Group think takes over and we the voters are forgotten.
Change is not on the horizon as the situation continues to worsen day by day in Washington. More and more we seem to be forgotten when major decisions are to be made. While people in the nation are unemployed, underemployed, food deprived or starving the status quo holds in Congress. Talk of military action takes precedence over all else it would seem these days. No one bothers to mention the costs or how that will be paid. The taxpayers are forgotten.
On the local level our educational system continues to act in ways that demonstrate our children are forgotten. Teachers are told what and how to teach in order to follow the precepts of a “Core Curriculum” which leads to large amounts of teaching to the test. The process ignores much science concerning the ways in which children learn. Arts are left out of the story in order to press for more academic subjects. Education becomes less about learning and living than about regurgitating at tests time. Real life is forgotten along the way.
The minimum wage laws are one more example of our forgotten citizens. Legislators on every level continue to leave behind the people dependent on a minimum wage job for feeding themselves and often supporting a family. Many must hold multiple jobs in the daily effort to keep life together. They are forgotten by a system that puts profits before employee care.
The continued damage to our environment by the use of carbon fuels leaves us one and all behind. The air we breathe and the water we drink is contaminated by the products of energy production using carbon fuels. Our overall welfare is forgotten in the ongoing move to sustaining an industry which must change if our future is to be sustained.
Pesticides, herbicides, and multiple other chemicals are allowed into our daily lives as the damage they produce is ignored and the future health of all our residents is forgotten. All is about convenience at the expense of our global future.
And goodness forbid we should not consider the modern American ‘healthcare’ system which is all about profit and disease management. The lessons of the past in terms of preventive care are forgotten as are we, the patients, these days. The money driven system leaves little room for the practice of best medicine and the sustaining relationships of the past between physicians and their patients. The bottom line is the driving force for a system which has forgotten its roots in service and patient care.
Around the entire world the poor are among the most forgotten of all. Their voices are not often heard. Their concerns seldom addressed. These are the ones who suffer the most in time of crisis of any sort. Their lives are fragile and often vary in degrees of suffering on a daily basis. They recognize they are forgotten but are powerless to change the situation for themselves.
It is only our voices raised in ongoing protest that may one day sway the minds of our elected officials. Silence is deadly. Actions speak even louder than words. We will be forgotten only so long as we allow the circumstance to continue. Change is possible but the movement toward a better nation remains in our hands these days. If each of us does all within our range every day in every way one day we will no longer be the forgotten but rather will become the represented.
Quote of the Week:
Nobody is forgotten when it is convenient to remember him.--Benjamin Disraeli
Revised and reprinted from Northington Notes, a biweekly e-letter to which anyone may subscribe. The e-mail list is a private one, never shared or sold and used only for Notes or occasional important issues. To subscribe see: Personal Blog