Never the less, I felt it was my duty to contribute to my community, to be active politically....to make a difference. I credit my parents for instilling in me, a sense of responsibility for others. Dad was a Policeman. The Police Benevolent society distributed food baskets during the holidays. Mom did the distribution. She made sure her daughters came along to see how other people lived. I could see the difference. I saw families in complete disarray, really destitute. I also saw very poor people who were intelligent and kept a clean house...although spartan. Not a lot of furniture there, but everything was polished and in place. Some of those houses were really cold in the winter.
I am proud of my volunteer experiences...visiting orphanages in high school, volunteer teacher at the YWCA during college, a Red Cross Volunteer, on the board of the local youth center , a commissioner running a building devoted to veterans, on the Council on Aging...my last position.
The Council on Aging was when I realized that I was not heard. I hold minority positions. ...such heretical positions as: We ought to follow the personal policy of our senior center. It did not happen.
Sitting down, reasoning with myself: I am retired . I don't know how many years of good health I have left. Do I want to spend that time volunteering? Especially when I feel ineffective? Is it important for me to make a more concentrated effort to be heard? Shall I give volunteering top priority ? The answer was a clear no. My years of volunteering are over.
Never the less, I still follow issues and have concerns about where my local community is going. Our taxes are an issue. Disappearing open space is an issue. Social services are an issue. Transportation, pollution, conserving our New England architecture...all issues.
Not only local politics, but state and national issues need to be followed.
Two issues on the state level are our sky rocketing energy costs and the eminent domain law that can throw people off their land when they don't want to go.
One issue on the national level caused me to write this entry into my blog: The war in Iraq. President Bush never made clear to me, the connection between the terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York and Iraq. In fact, He clearly knew that the terrorists came from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but We need the oil from the Saudis, so We can't shoot there.
Instead, He declared war against Iraq. To me, that makes the USA, the bad guy. We're there now. Young men, the ages of my grandsons, are losing limb or life. The conflict draws more fundamentalist and terrorists into the area. Training camps spring up. Maybe there were already there. It is as if We stuck a stick into a hornets nest. Of course the hornets are going to be pretty mad.
Well, We're in the Frey now. Perhaps it is a good thing that their dictator is gone. I don't think We can just walk away because We now owe law and order to the gentle and intelligent citizens of Iraq. They're dying in greater numbers than our own troops. I urge our president to use our troops in Iraq to train and guide the Iraq troops and civilian forces to restore law and order in their country. When stability is established, get out.