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Choice (Something I Care About)

something_i_care_aboutMy 11-year-old daughter gave me an assignment last week: “write a poem about something you care about,” and it had to be handwritten. After a couple extensions on the deadline (phew), I finally turned it in. I don’t usually write poems with verses that rhyme, but she often does, so I thought I would try a poem in her style. I think I got full credit (even though it was late). And the typed version is below in case, like her, you can’t read my writing.

Perhaps the easiest one
   is to go left or to go right
Or maybe to stand up or sit tight
And then there’s going red
   or green or brown
Put it right side up
   or upside down
And of course you can go slow
   or you can go fast
Take it right up to the line
   or go past
You can rock or you can roll
You can sleep or stay awake
Keep your eyes wide open
   for as much as you can take
You can listen or go deaf
   and pretend it’s not there
Choose right or choose wrong
   or call the whole thing unfair
There are no strings attached
   or someone else writing your part
No one else controls your thoughts
   or pumps blood through your heart
We’d like to give credit or
   blame others for the view
But in the end it’s a choice
   and only you control you.

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New Summer, New Freedom

Photo by Pedro Szekely

Photo by Pedro Szekely

I miss that “school’s out” feeling. You remember the one. It began to wash over you the morning you awoke on that last day of school and slowly settled in and warmed your whole body as the day progressed. Everyone was abuzz with excitement and relief, even the teachers, and as you walked off campus for the last time that year, there seemed to only be possibilities. Somehow with that final bell you were more free than you had been since you could remember. When that bell rung, time ceased to exist and summer began.

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Pondering the American Life and “Where’s This Thing Headed, Anyway?”

Once again it’s late and my thoughts are swirling. A few things got my mind stepping from place to place. First it was this chemical spill in West Virginia that has hundreds of thousands of people without water to drink, bathe in, etc. Then there was the update on the Target data breach which now says that up to 70 million people’s card numbers, addresses, phone numbers, etc. could have been compromised. From there it was easy for me to jump to one of the few questions I struggle with on a regular basis: what the hell are we doing?

enjoy_capitalism-largeAs far as I can see, the vast majority of the world’s issues stem from money, one way or another. Governments and companies abuse their own people in order for a few to profit. Large populations are taken advantage of in order to make stuff at a lower cost, so that product prices are lower/more competitive, thereby selling more, and again, making a small percentage even richer than they already are. Capitalism and the model of “go to school to get a job to make money to buy stuff” just can’t be sustained. Have you ever walked through a department store or grocery store and wondered, “Who is going to buy all this stuff?” And for me, the next question is, “Why do I want all this stuff?”

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