“IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY?”

I have been following the news concerning the partial Government shutdown that has recently occurred.  I sat and listened, in appalled surprise, as Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator from Texas, sat and read Dr. Suess’ “Green Eggs and Ham” to his children over the phone at bed time, on National Television in an act of filibustering, in order to run down the clock on the decision of whether to shut down the Government or to continue with Obama Care.  Wow!  I believe that we have other and more important things to be concerned about in these United States of America.   You disagree too much.  You fight too much.  This side does not agree with that side.    This one doesn’t see eye to eye with that one.  She does not want to support him, and he does not want to be on the same side as her.  Nobody acts like they like ANYBODY.  And NOBODY wants to support the ones that actually NEED the support.  The people.  You have opposed one another and fought one another for so long that you have lost focus on what is really important.  The people.  You remember?  The ones that you have sworn, and promised, and have taken an oath, to Govern and to care for.  To support, and to protect.  REALLY?  SERIOUSLY?  Well please explain this to us, Mr. Senator, Mrs. Senator, Mr. Congressman and Mrs. Congresswoman;  (Ms. for everyone else that falls in between, so that we can be politically correct).  But I’m talking to those of you who represent this great United States of America.  And here is the question.  How does this in any, way, shape or form, benefit the people.  YOUR PEOPLE?  The ones that before now had only 2 choices; either you die slowly, or you die now.  Either way, you die.   Because they didn’t have health insurance coverage, and they wouldn’t  be covered by insurance anyway because oops, they made a mistake and got sick.  And because the insurance companies just do not care.  If you can not pay, you will not be served.  Is that the America way?

And here is an even better question Mr. Senator, Mr. Congressman, and everyone in between.  If the Government is shut down, and literally hundreds and thousands of workers across the United States are “Temporarily Unemployed” and are therefore NOT getting paid, then how are YOU getting paid?  How are YOU getting YOUR check?  How are YOU paying YOUR mortgage and YOUR car note?  How are YOU buying groceries for YOUR family and children?  Did YOU give up YOUR check or take any pay cuts?  Are YOU “Temporarily Suspended or Unemployed?”  That’s exactly what I thought!”  Now that’s something that makes you go, “Hmmmm.”   And then tell me this.  Just what kind of formidable authoritative force do you really suppose that we are to the world right now, while we sit back and read “Green Eggs and Ham” on National Television, and the world laughs.  Oh, don’t you think for one second that they are not.  What weight do we hold while we allow such a selfish inane act under the guise of “This is MY right as a U.S. Senator to have MY moment, because I’m due this time.”  HEY!  Our troops are out there fighting on a daily basis, not only for our freedom, but for own their lives as well.  Thousands of our children, husbands, wives, sisters and brothers, nieces, uncles and aunts put their lives on the line for this thing we call “Freedom” everyday.   Not for the opportunity for us to abuse that freedom, but for the right to embrace that “Freedom,” that “Liberty,” and that spirit of Democracy  that we hold so dear to our hearts.  So what, you don’t like the President!  GET OVER IT!  We can call in to question more than half of the Presidents that we have had thus far.  But this is the set man who has been appointed unanimously by “We The People” for such a time as this.  You need to stop all this foolishness.  Get with the program.  Begin to contribute constructively to the issues at hand, and to assist this man, this president, this Commander in Chief, in the EFFECTIVE running of this great Government, this great Country that we call the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.  If we truly are what we say we are, then come together, stop the filibustering, and make some positive decisions that will truly benefit “We The People.”  For Together we stand, but divided we will fall.

Now, Tell us what you think,

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“SMELL THE ROSES, AND LIVE”

While working a stint at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, or the BOE as we fondly refer to it, I had the awesome opportunity to observe several things.  Now mind you, it has been quite some time since I have held a regular job in corporate America being an “At Home Mom” and all.  But I was called to do my service to the County, and I went.  So, I packed up my lunch in my little striped bag, got in my little car, and headed downtown to the BOE.  I was so very excited to be heading back into the world of the gainfully employed.  Allow me to share with you some of the things that I observed.  One of the first things that I observed on my daily commute to and from work was the courteousness (facetious tone) of my fellow drivers.  I observed a “STOP” sign that apparently did not really mean “STOP” because drivers were zooming past it like it was not even there.  Hmmm, that was quite a peculiar occurrence, since I have been taught since my early childhood that red meant “STOP.”  Then, I sat at a yellow yield sign that was being obliviously run by everyone, for about 5 minutes while drivers who had no obvious understanding of the word “YEILD” continued on in a long straight line, seeing us sitting there, but not even attempting to stop for one second to allow the merging traffic to come onto the roadway.   Well, as I continued on my merry way to the BOE, I experienced yet another enigma; vehicles dashing right in front of me narrowly missing hitting my truck because they were  trying to get out of the lane that it was quite evident had parked cars all along the street on the right hand side for about a half a mile down.  Wow!  That was close.  Then vehicles moved through that flashing yellow “School Zone Sign” and past the public servant that was so diligently crossing the school children across the street in safety, so quickly, passing me as though I were sitting still while I moved at a snail’s pace through the zone.  I on the other hand, thought the sign read “20 miles per hour.”  Hmmm, that was odd.  Yet another conundrum.  Perhaps it was me that was mistaken, for it did not appear to have the same meaning for them as it did for me.    Oh, and there were lots of conversations going on and people looking down at their cell phones.  Amazing!  Because I have never mastered the art of driving while looking down at my phone.  And the motorist who zoomed past me in a 35 MPH zone, probably should have left just a bit earlier.  Then they would not have had to speed to get to work.  It certainly makes sense to me.  And the people on the street as I walked from the parking lot to the BOE?  Faces that looked like they were made of stone.  I said Good Morning to a few, with no discernible response in return.  I wanted to yell and tell them that “Hey, It’s ok to smile, to say hi, good morning or even nod your head in acknowledgement of another individual.  Life cannot be that miserable or depressing that you can’t muster up a common courtesy.  As one of my co-workers so eloquently put it, “Good morning is free, and a smile does not cost you anything.”

I’ve learned a lot these past few weeks.  And from what I’ve learned I do know this; that while this scurrying back and forth everyday in our quest to achieve the American dream may indeed be a necessary evil, so to speak, it cannot, nor can we allow it to take the place of our very lives.  Our humanity.  We must continue to live, and love, and laugh, and to be happy, and to just enjoy our “God Given Lives.”  We are all awesome and incredible individuals, with some beautiful smiles that can quite literally light up a room, who have all been given the opportunity to breathe the breath of life one more day.  And we all deserve respect for who we are.   And we must understand that a little common courtesy goes a very long way.  So, we may not be able to come to a complete stop in our incessant quest for greatness, or cease from catering to our unremitting responsibilities, but we can surely allow just a little kindness for our fellow-man to come forth from our ever stone facades.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and so is the next person, and we must remember that.  And I believe that if for just a moment, just one moment, we slow down, even stop, and just breathe in the very essence of what life is, God’s life, then we would suddenly remember that we are here for only a moment, an important moment, and that we must learn to value one another, to respect one another, to enjoy life and one another.  And then, we will stop and smell the roses, while we still have time.