"So Michael is out there. What are we going to do when we find him?"
"Bring him back."
"What if he doesn't want to come back?"
"I'll talk to him."
"I think he's beyond listening to reason."
"So you think we should just leave him. Write him off?"
"Who are we to decide what people can or can't do?"
- Conversation between Jack and Locke in the second season of Lost.
I had an old friend call me today and tell me a very sad story about her mother in law who was sick and getting progressively sicker. She was upset that the government was failing her mother in law in regards to health care. Medicare, Social Security and so on. She talked my ear off about the righteous indignation she spouted to customer care operators and their supervisors. Then she finished this story with: "It just doesn't seem right."
So I asked her, "Are you saying it doesn't seem right that the government isn't taking care of your mother in law, even though she meets none of the lawful criteria for said help, or it doesn't seem right that a woman as old and as smart as her would have never bought disability or Long Term Care insurance as a protection against this kind of thing, seeing as it runs in her family?"
These things kill me. Well, these things and the "I pledge to serve President Obama" video that was recently shown in a Farmington, Utah School. (I watched it on YouTube, but wouldn't recommend it unless you have a strong stomach.)
Really? A man wants to go out into the jungle after his son - personal safety be damned! - but it is somehow every one's JOB to go bring him back whether he wants to come back or not. And in this scenario, we are supposed to be rooting for Jack for being a caring guy, a team player. Ugh.
A woman works a bit in her life. She's mostly a stay at home mom. She has a certain illness that runs in the family. She never sees fit to put away even $65 a month into a policy that is DESIGNED to take care of her if she is stricken with that illness, and somehow the GOVERNMENT is the bad guy?
A bunch of "famous people" get on screen and pledge to do this and that, mainly be greener and be superfluously nicer (smile more, learn the names of their other rich neighbors, etc), asking you what you will pledge; followed by a Brady Bunch x 10 of their heads all pledging service to OBAMA!!
It hurts. It hurts my little soul in this big world. It's painful that kids who watch the President's address to children have to be TOLD not to pick on the kids who choose not to.
Maybe this is what happens when I read the paper. I think. I become involved emotionally in the dealings of this mad world and wonder . . . Then I get emotional and use a bit of anger because what I really feel is powerless. I can't change it.
I can only teach my children the principles of the gospel. I can teach them stewardship and respect for private property. I can teach them a solid work ethic. I can teach them how to be kind and diplomatic and honest. I can teach them to trade (I don't really emphasise the sharing thing. Trading makes everyone happy. Sharing just makes them resent the person they had to share with and me: the person who FORCED them.)
These things I will do. Hoping that it is enough . . . because it is the only arena where I hold any power at all.