Carol A. Hand
My dearest grandson, it seems only a short time ago when I first held you in my arms after your birth on a snowy, stormy January day sixteen years ago. Sixteen! How the years have flown by!
Photo Credit: Aadi and Ahma – Thanksgiving 2014
I wanted to write a special poem, or share the old story that you asked me to recite thousands of times when you were little, The ‘Tinky Bush Story, but I won’t embarrass you by posting it today. I pondered what I could give you that would let you know how deeply I love you. Oddly, the words that came were something I needed to write in response to survey from our Congressional Representative, Rick Nolan. I know it’s a strange gift. But it’s what I can do today to give you the most important gift I can imagine – to take the time to advocate for a world where people live in peace and harmony with each other and take care of the earth we all share as home.
Dear Representative Nolan,
First, I wish to thank you for your continuing efforts to represent your constituents with integrity, wisdom, and compassion.
Second, I want to express my gratitude to you for asking constituents to share our views about the most pressing issues we face as Minnesotans, citizens of the United States, and members of the global community.
On this day, January 10, 2015, when my grandson is celebrating his sixteenth birthday, your request gives me an opportunity to share what I wish for his future, the future for all of the youth in his generation, and for those who will follow.
The most pressing issues we face from my perspective include the following:
- Addressing global climate change by ending our dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels and supporting alternative energy innovations;
- Assuring high quality public education to ensure the creation of future generations with a foundation of critical thinking skills, knowledge, and creativity necessary for addressing global challenges in peaceful, constructive ways;
- Ending our active involvement in and economic/political support for all arms-based approaches for resolving disputes and allocating funding to train people in peaceful strategies for effective conflict resolution;
- Revising tax policies to ensure that corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share;
- Using the revenues saved by ending our support for war and the revenues gained by fair tax policies to put people to work in a variety of capacities to rebuild an aging infrastructure, revitalize urban areas, transform mono-cultural chemical agriculture to organic farming, and develop new green technologies;
- Addressing poverty through job creation and adequate, humane support for those who are not able to work;
- Shifting our approach for dealing with criminal acts from isolation and punishment to restorative justice; and
- Recognizing that if we, as a nation, are to move forward as a constructive member of the global community, we need to acknowledge past atrocities here and abroad and commit to the long and arduous process of reconciliation for egregious harms done.
The choice is ours. We can continue to exploit the earth for momentary power, enact mean-spirited cuts to social safety net programs that deepen people’s suffering, and continue to lie about grievous harms perpetrated in the past, or we can focus on creating a better world for generations yet to come. For the sake of my grandson, I ask that you consider this list of suggestions as a beginning framework for future legislative agendas. I believe it is something all parents and grandparents would wish for the next generations if they were able to envision this as a possibility. I hope you will help make it so…
I thank you for asking for my suggestions and for taking the time to consider them thoughtfully.
Of course, dear Aadi, I come from a different generation than you. I’ve posted some songs from my younger days to encourage you to think about the world as it was long ago when I was your age, as it is today, and what you would like to see it become. Whatever you choose, my beloved grandson, please remember that I will always love you.
Universal Soldier – Buffy Sainte Marie
War – Edwin Starr.
Peace Train – Ysuf/Cat Stevens
What the World Needs Now – Jackie De Shannon
Get Together – The Young Bloods
Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures
May you have a wonderful sixteenth year, dearest Aadi. And may the world you live in be the one Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Jackie De Shannon, and the Young Bloods sing about…
Copyright Notice: carolahand carolahand