Saturday, October 18, 2008

An Early Letter to the Next Administration....

Dear President and Vice President,

Congratulations on your election to the highest offices in our land! For the next four or more years, you're the face of America to the world, and our leaders. Here are just a few of my hopes and dreams for the next several years:

I want us all to work hard together to dig ourselves out of the spot we're in now: fiscally, spiritually, emotionally, militarily, and in every other way. And where we don't agree on a way forward, I want us to be willing to disagree without becoming disagreeable. I'm sick unto death of the "us versus them" mentality that has plagued us for far too long in this country and around the world. The very term "civilization" begins with the word civil. Unless we commit to behaving with civility, we'll always be on each other's nerves and - eventually at each other's throats.

I want to see affordable health care coverage made available as a right for everyone in our nation who wants it, and for all children. Too many bankruptcies occur because someone in a family gets sick and not even the health care they pay for covers the astronomical costs of recovery. I would like to see drug companies selling their products and physicians providing their services at reasonable and humanitarian prices. No one should have to suffer or go without medicines because of an inability to pay.

I want women to be paid the same as men for the same job. If there has to be a discrepancy, it should be reversed so that women are paid more than men, because they live years longer and have to have a lot more stashed away for retirement to carry them through. Before, when men were sole breadwinners, the need for them to make enough to support a family made perfect sense. But in today's world as many women as men work outside the home and are breadwinners themselves. They need what men need to get by -- and usually for years longer. So it's time to bring the pay disparity into balance.

I want every child born in this country to feel loved, supported and cherished. To that end, I support birth control and family planning here in America, so that every child that's born is truly wanted and desperately loved.

I want our school systems and teachers to be the best we can provide, as though every school and every teacher in our country will be providing our own children with what they need to make it in the world.

I want schools to find out what each child's gifting/passion is, and ways provided that will nourish and support the gifting, so that no child will feel they're a square peg being forced into a round hole. God gives each child a particular temperament and leaning, a specific "mission," and they're most likely to know what that is at a relatively early age. I would like to see parents and teachers watching for the unique perspective and gifting of each young one in their charge, and then find ways to direct and encourage each of the children appropriately so that their long careers will truly reflect what each of them is here to do in the world. Talk about happy employees! If we can provide just this basis, there will be no need for incentive programs: employers will have to shoo employees out the door at the end of the working day and mandate appreciable time off!

I want to see our environment protected so that we'll have a place for our progeny that nourishes and refreshes their souls. Our planet protects and produces for us. We need to return the favor and to make sure that we never do anything to it that will result in further degradation. We need to heal our lands where we've scarred them. We're supposed to be stewards, not rapists.

I want our military, political and police organizations to be notable and honorable peacemakers first -- and peacekeepers only as absolutely necessary. Might is necessary and required, but it should only be dispatched if every other feasible avenue has been exhausted. It should never be used as a first resort (except during direct, immediate confrontation from an assailant) because it will likely result in horrendous injury or death, which are atrocities (even when "appropriate"). "Thou shalt not murder" is a commandment from God. This command reminds us that we need to be careful not to let our emotions or tribalism overload our common fundamental drives: for relationship, mutual peace, prosperity, and abundant life.

I want the laws of our land to protect all of our citizens, no matter what their nationalities, disabilities, opinions, orientation, or disposition. Only when one citizen tries to take away the rights of another should we employ methods of containment and imprisonment. Civilized people can disagree on many levels. As long as the disagreement remains civil and does not escalate to violence or censure, we're going to be okay here in America. The rule of law was created to address the actions and threats of people who are not civil, fair, safe, or sane. Laws and rules keep us free and safe. Boundaries are necessary.

I want us all to remember that God is in control, and to thank Him for his providence and guidance. Whenever our conscience advises us to "back off," "settle down," "take a walk," de-escalate," "reconnect with your peace," or "count to ten before you react or respond," that's God revealing His will to us. Whatever good there is in us comes from Him. Pay attention!!! Obey! You'll be soooooooo glad you did!

I want, I want, I want... Just listen to me. What I have is far more daunting than the usual household "honey do" list!

Our many and varied lists of "things to do" for the two of you and your Cabinet could go on forever! But I have just a couple more wants:

I want you to be safe. I want your families to be safe. I want the next four years to "tractor beam" in a renewed sense of possibility and equanimity, so that we'll look back on the first decade of the twenty first century as a mere hiccup... an aberration... a misstep that we recognized and resolved before it became entrenched as a really bad habit.

I have renewed hope, with the two of you leading the way.

Isn't hope a marvelous emotion?

I have it again -- in abundance!

Congratulations and God bless!

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