I'm a parent of two -- a father of a boy and a girl. So I'm blessed with two perspectives on life for every situation. Actually three if you figure in what my wife tells me is the right way to handle things. But that's another story.
There isn't a day that my kids, while growing up -- I guess they're always going up -- but until they leave for college or move out, there isn't something that you're called upon to offer some guidance. Oh, they may not ask you directly, or even want your input indirectly, but they do hear you. And you know what, they do appreciated it. They won't want to tell you to your face, more likely the opposite is true, but they really do love us.
Recently my wife was lamenting that with our kids both gone, out working and living their own productive lives, there's a void. And as a dutiful husband, I assured her that she's thought of all the time by myself and our kids. But just like most empty-nesters, I couldn't shake her fears of being left behind. And to what legacy?
Then I saw this video. Though it's intention was not specifically to deal with empty nest syndrome it really touches on what's important. It's what you're kids really do think of you. And no matter whether they're three or thirty-three, they're yours and the bi-product of your love.
So in that spirit, the reinforcement that we as parents of kids any age have meaning, purpose and really generally do right despite occasional over-protectiveness or laxity of oversight, I invite you to a few minutes of positive reinforcement. It may stir up some really wonderful memories or tease you with what's upcoming for you newer parents. Enjoy and feel good. It's time to accept being loved.
The Republican party needs to do more than just “de-kookify and disassociate with the nuts.”
Here is First Read's take. They appear to have a flair for stating the obvious:
Lacking that compassion thing: There’s one other point we want to make about the GOP: The party really seems to be struggling with that compassion thing. Take passing the farm bill WITHOUT the food stamp program. Or the scant attention to the plight of the undocumented immigrants -- and their families -- who are currently living in the shadows of this country. Compassion is a powerful thing in politics; remember, George W. Bush won a presidential election (in 2000) on that theme. Republicans are going to need to figure out how to add a compassionate element to their austerity push. Of course, conservatives would argue the one place they show the most compassion (on the issue of abortion) doesn't get the attention it deserves. Then again, on abortion, there is another side that believes there is a lack of compassion for women on this issue. Point is, the GOP has a perception problem on this front -- something the Republican National Committee noted, and they've done little to fix it.
Where to start, where to start? Well, first, there's this: GOP on the Verge of Committing Political Suicide. But I digress...
1. I've been writing about "that compassion thing" for ages. You can find all my posts on the Republicans' so-called "outreach" efforts (scroll) here. This isn't about any compassion they want to convince themselves that they have, it's about the perception of compassion, which I will address later. It's a sham. It's a facade. It's a game of Charades. It's a movie set without good actors or a decent script. It's a whole bunch of phony baloney wind-up mechanical stuntmen who lack souls.
2. Not providing needy Americans (a good number of them are employed and white, by the way) with food stamps, AKA a way to stay alive by, you know, eating, shows no compassion. None.
3. Not caring one tiny bit for anyone who doesn't look, sound, think, or believe the way white male Christian conservatives do is not anyone's idea of compassion, empathy, or outreach. Correction: It's white male Christian conservatives' idea of compassion, empathy, and outreach. My bad.
4. How can there be a compassion element in an ill-timed, unnecessary, harmful austerity push? Oxymoron.
5. Supporting forced-birth is compassionate? Making doctors read scripts filled with lies to scare their female patients is compassionate? Shoving trans-vaginal probes up women against their will when there is no medical need for them is compassionate? Male legislators determining what women should do with their lives and bodies is compassionate? Forbidding women to make very painful, very personal, possibly life-saving decisions about their own health is compassionate? Withholding health services, including cancer screenings, is compassionate? Shaming women publicly and politically is compassionate? This isn't "lacking that compassion thing," this is lacking that heart thing.
6. If all you're striving for is the "perception" of compassion, then you're a fake. Your goal is to fool people into believing that your slogans mean more than your intentions and legislative outcomes. You're playing the role of the fast-talking salesman who will say anything to make the sale, to get you to buy a defective product, or a product that could result in injury or even fatalities. Anyone who's watched a TV commercial knows that sales pitches can look attractive and sound enticing, but if the merchandise is inferior, if it doesn't work, if it's unsafe or ineffective, then it's as flimsy and substandard as the advertiser's credibility.
No, the GOP doesn't have a perception problem. They have a policy problem. They have a trust problem. They have a people problem. They have a humanity problem. And that means they have a voter problem.
I dare you to keep from tearing up watching this video. It's not the performance, but the humanity, the spirit and the inspiration. It would be easy to make a political statement out of this, but I won't. Rather I prefer to share this strictly as human interest, compassion and the fact that something so simple as giving a moment of your time can make someone else's life more tolerable. To the Greenberg family, to Anna and to the great Bette Midler...You all are the wind beneath my wings.
As a footnote, a few hours after this call, Anna Greenberg received one more. This one was from God. She was taken from this life by cancer at 29 years of age.
Today while I was on with Nicole Sandler doing my weekly radio spot, she ended the show with this must-see PSA aimed at teenage boys on what to do with a girl who’s passed out on your couch.
I had never seen it, and immediately teared up. What a simple and perfect message about respect and compassion:
To the Steubenville rapists...or any rapists out there.
It was posted on March 22, and already has 1,282,067 views.
Check out this comment that was posted under the video on YouTube:
This society has far more misandric beliefs then it does misogynist beliefs at this point. The man hating is at a ridiculous level in every aspect from elementary school to Prison sentences.
"real" Feminist always claim to be fighting for the rights of both genders but you NEVER see this in action. In actions all you see is feminist trying to gain more and more PRIVILEGES(not rights) for women and ignoring an issues dealing with men.
The radfems are heading the Feminists movement now.
Yeah, we "radfems" hate men so much that we try to prevent and cope with the devastation of rape.
Melissa Harris-Perry must be trying so hard to "gain more PRIVILEGES" that she showed all kinds of compassion to rape survivors, having been one herself. She's clearly "ignoring all those issues dealing with men," those poor men who brutally abuse women, when she said to the Steubenville survivor, you “are not alone. We have failed you. I believe in you.”
What a radfem.
As I wrote yesterday, and as you can see in the video above, even Republican, 89-year-old disabled vet Bob Dole couldn’t sway 13 GOP senators to ratify U.N. disabilities treaty. And it was utterly shameful, a genuinely disgraceful episode. In fact, the outcome was so painful that it brought Lawrence O'Donnell to tears:
Now it's becoming clearer than ever that Republicans don't value life at all, unless of course, they think they can squeeze votes from uninformed and gullible voters by saying they do. It's becoming clearer than ever that Republicans say one thing and do another. It's becoming clearer than ever that heartless far right hypocrites need to go.
David Morrissey, the executive director of the United State International Council on Disabilities, told The Cable in an interview that his group and many others had been assured by numerous GOP senators that they would vote in favor of ratification, but then disabilities groups were given no warning when those senators reversed themselves and voted "no." [...]
The scene both inside and just outside the Senate chamber Tuesday before and during the vote was heart-wrenching, several observers said. Wounded war veterans and other disabled people filled the gallery above the floor and the hallways outside the chamber, expecting to celebrate months of effort, only to have those hopes shattered as the roll call vote was read aloud.
"That was one of most shameful moments I've witnessed during my time in Washington," one longtime senior Senate aide said. "I thought it was utterly appalling."
"The reaction was one of emotional hurt. There was weeping in the gallery," said Morrissey, who added that disability groups will remember the GOP senators who torpedoed the treaty ratification effort and groups have labeled the 38 the "wall of shame."
As Morrissey went on to say, this is what happens when right wing crazies try to agitate home schoolers, "pro-lifers" [sic], and parents with disabled children.
Be proud, GOP. Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.
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