I do apologize again, I’ve been in a bit of perpetual mourning since 2014.
It has been difficult to lose three VIPs all in one year, my stepdad and good friend Robert in March, my favorite uncle Glen who shared my birthday in July, and then my dad, whom with I spent countless hours discussing social issues, in October.
All three were influential to me growing up and as an adult. Robert and I had contrary opinions and would argue til the wee hours about politics and government. During my childhood I sat with Glen as we shared our birthday celebration with the whole fam damily each year. As a young adult I listened as my dad and my uncles would discuss government and economics with my grandpop, never once thinking that I would become a political activist.
And yet, somehow I feel that they’re watching me, proud that I am standing up for what’s right here in my hometown capital of Kansas.
While each of them found ways to help people individually -Robert would let folks couch surf, as a truck driver my dad would pick up hitchhikers, and Glen was famous for taking in stray children- I know that now I must encourage others to act collectively. Yes, it is fine and noble to help a person when they’re down, but too many of the people are down, and the solutions are beyond individual acts of charity.
The young often say “just wait, these leaders are old and will soon die, and then we can make the changes we need” but I’m not sure of that anymore. While 2016 saw many, many celebrity deaths of the Boomer & Greatest generations, those generations are also full of people living beyond their 80’s. It is up to us youngers-GenX, Millenials, and our children-to forge ahead. As was stated during the civil rights era, we can wait no more!
Its amusing how so many of that generation have become old, and are set in their ways, and will not listen to the Young, even as they were once not listened to.
I’ll ask you, dear reader, to make a resolution and stick to it. A resolution not only to help others, but to help change this oppressive system of corporate tyranny. It will take a lot of change on your part individually, change where you shop, where you invest your money, and what you teach your children about what they need. It will mean you’ll have to give up what you thought was acceptable, and accept that as a Nation we’ve been doing this social order thing all wrong. This year I ask you to not only change your own behaviors, but also to influence and insist on change in your neighborhood, city, and state.
For example, I don’t rake my leaves in the fall. When my neighbors comment or complain about my messy yard, I explain why it’s good for the environment to not bag up leaves, how I’m supporting birds through the winter as they forage and take shelter in my untrimmed shrubs, and how those dead leaves are Nature’s compost.
If you’re in Kansas, you can start your new year by visiting our state capital on January 11 and support the Kansas People’s Agenda. Meet your legislator face-to-face to demand an end to Brownback’s agenda, a plan that has wrecked our state budget, threatened our schools and families, and has left thousands without access to healthcare. It is time for the majority of us–the non-billionaires–to RISE UP!