Thursday, November 02, 2006

Building A World For Our Grandkids

I always thought that once I became a grandmother I would have the time, money, knowledge, contacts, and skills to help build a better world for my grandchildren. When my own children were young, I was learning how the world worked, broke most of the time, and tied up as a single parent just raising the kids. We all were, even two-parent households. But, all that time I was not just raising my kids. I was gaining experience. I was making a reputation and friends. I was working for some kind of retirement and free time. And I was going to use all of that in the service of my grandchild, and yours. So were you.

And then the world changed. Instead of building a better world, we have been jamming our fingers in the dike trying to hold off the flood, trying to hold on to existing freedoms. Instead of making the world a better place for Maya, I have all I can do to try to slow its descent into a much worse place. I see what is happening to our country and the world, and I fear for Maya and for all of her generation.

I was visiting Ronnie at Time Goes By and found myself, yet again, agreeing with her so very much.
So I urge you grandmothers - and grandfathers too -– to think carefully, when you vote on 7 November, about the future you want for your grandchildren. Do you think any of your incumbents -– Democratic or Republican -– care about the next generations? Have they done anything while in office to ensure a better place for your grandchildren?

Elders vote in much larger numbers than any other age group. We can make those votes count even more by voting first, against those in Congress who can't see beyond their next free vacation trip from a lobbyist (which is all of them) and second, for new candidates who will then be on notice that if they don't work in the next two years with the common good in mind, we can vote them out too.

We need to pay attention to how candidates have voted on family issues. On family leave, on education, on clean air and water, on keeping jobs in the country, on the minimum wage. Yes, we do need to take control of Congress away from the GOP, but there are many candidates running for other offices and we need to ignore their party affiliation and look at their record on children's issues. We need to make this an election that begins to focus on our future, our grandchildren.

For those of us who are grandparents or of an age to be grandparents, we are never likely to have much more influence, moxy, money, or spare time than we do now. We need to invest it wisely. Prove that we have earned the white hair and shining domes that mark us from the rest of the herd as the wise ones, the ones to turn to when answers are needed.

6 comments:

marianne said...

Just beautiful. May I paraphrase you on my blog? And may I email you to ask some more specifics of your choices and why? I'm proud to be a grandma like you! Marianne

J said...

You're right, it's important to vote for what's best for families...some people would rather vote for what they see as being in their own best interest, but I would argue that caring for children IS in their best interest, even if they don't have any children or grandchildren, because these are the doctors/politicians/mechanics/grocers of the future. Better make sure they're ready for it.

Never That Easy said...

The fact that so many in my generation can't be bothered to vote is frightening to me. But in the past few years, people seem to be catching on to the fact that it's vital. Hopefully, this will show on Tuesday.

Py Korry said...

These:

"We need to pay attention to how candidates have voted on family issues. On family leave, on education, on clean air and water, on keeping jobs in the country, on the minimum wage."

Are the real family issues candidates ought to run on!

Great post!

kenju said...

DITTO and AMEN!!

KelliAmanda said...

MG, I love you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for trying to make this world better.