I'm a liberal. I'm probably a socialist.
But part of the reason I am, I think, is because of the way I was raised and the field in which I work. My father is a United Methodist minister. I can remember more times than I can count that he went out in the middle of the night to the police station (in the town where we lived when I was a teenager) to give money and food to "transients" that turned up there for whatever reason. That came from a church program, not from our pockets, but it was a church program that he and several other area ministers were instrumental in heading up.
It came to be, though, that he was going out more and more. When I asked why he was always "on call" to help, he usually answered that the other ministers couldn't be reached or that we lived (literally) across the street from the PD so he just went. Was it because he was the only one that went? To that, my father said something that has shaped the person I've become: He reminded me that we can't change anyone but ourselves, and we have to lead by example and not by refusing to help. As long as he did what needed to be done to help those who had less than we did (without asking questions, just helping) then he had done all he could do. At the time I thought that people were taking advantage of my father, but now I understand that for me, he's right.
I work in a field where I see people everyday try to make their way in our country. They try to get jobs. They try to make a living for their families or just themselves. And they can't, because they don't speak English or don't speak clearly enough to be understood or are just too sick with mental illness to be able to maintain. I don't make a lot of money...thought I did because in my profession I'm one of the higher paid interpreters in my area...but compared to others I don't. But I stay doing what I do because of what I learned from my father. To me, it doesn't really matter what other people do or don't do for themselves. Some can help themselves and some can't. All I can do is keep doing what I feel is right and let them sort themselves out. I feel that because I was born able to hear and speak English, because I don't have voices telling me to kill myself or am so afraid of the world that I lock myself in my house and hide under my bed that I have a responsibility to be of whatever help I can be to those that ARE in those positions. I've stayed in a civil service job (state department of mental health) for 10 years because of that. I did have some things handed to me, so to speak...my parents paid for my education which to me is even more reason why I have to use what I have to help as many people as I can, regardless. They paid ME forward, I guess.
Anyway, that's why I'm a socialist leaning liberal, and why I'm voting the way I am. There are other reasons, like Roe v. Wade and such that I don't want to get into here because I don't find those kinds of arguments to be productive.
31 October 2008
Why I'm Voting for Obama
Well, not exactly...this morning on one of my message boards there was a discussion brewing about who was voting for whom, something that NEVER ends well. I think that for once I was able to make my point clearly and without too much stupidity, so I wanted to share. Also, I'm concerned that some of my readers aren't getting enough sleep, so I wanted to provide you with something other than Tylenol PM to try if that doesn't work for you.