When I was growing up, when a family dog messed the floor, my parents would take the dog and smear its nose in the mess and say, “Bad dog! bad! Bad dog!” Then they would throw the dog in the backyard. Even at the time, I was quite sure this was a superfluous method of dog training.
I need a person to smear my nose in a mess for me to take notice. I must have a better short-term memory than dogs.
This week on facebook, a friend updated her status with this: “[I am] astounded by the proposed state budget cuts -they’ll be closing schools for the deaf, homes for the severely disabled, pre-k programs, at-risk youth programs, they’ll also be cutting services for homeless families and treatment centers! Is all of the job loss and devastation to these people really going to save us money? How can we live with ourselves as a society who turns our back on the most needy??”
I commented that I had not known about it until her update.
She also said, “OH! and I forgot to mention SENIOR CARE. they are cutting funding for programs that care for senior citizens too (what a bunch of loafers!)… (“they”, not meaning Obama who is saving our asses with stimulus funds right now, but the powers that be in the illinois state senate *ahem* -i won’t comment on what party “they” are mainly from)”
So I took notice. I really don’t know what to do at the moment.
A pastor friend of mine, Dave Swanson, blogged about what he’s doing here. He says that he and his wife are taking part in something called “The March of the Strollers.” In Dave’s words, the vulnerable will be affected. He says:
“May I make a small suggestion? Before lending explicit or implicit support to these cuts, talk with someone who would be affected: a social worker, nursing home staff, someone who relies on day care. I don’t pretend to understand the best way forward, but understanding the passion of those negatively influenced by the state legislature may be the best place to begin.”
I think Dave’s advice lends itself to benefit all people. Learn about people from their perspectives. Before some judgement is made on their worth, give them an audience and an open mind.
In the meantime, I need to go smear my nose in this mess.