Friday, September 30, 2011

Ups And Downs

If you need a car and have a few thousand dollars you can buy a car. But if you don't have a few thousand dollars it will cost you a few thousand more to buy the same car. You will buy it on credit and pay for the privilege of buying it a little at a time rather than paying in a single lump sum. So the poorer person will pay much more for the same car than a rich person will.

If you have health insurance you'll pay a certain amount out of pocket when you go to the doctor. If you don't have health insurance you'll have to pay a great deal more out of pocket when you go to the doctor. Which makes it less likely that you'll ever be able to afford the high cost of insurance premiums. Which means you'll continue to pay a great deal more for every medical expense.

It's expensive to be poor in this country.

I majored in History, not Finance. I don't know a lot about how financial institutions work. But I have learned a few lessons from the history of our country.

When the gap between the rich and the poor grows to record proportions

                we all lose.

When the people at the top forget that they need the people at the bottom

                 we all lose.

When the people in the middle are more likely to end up on the bottom than on the top

                 we all lose.

We need each other.

Rich or poor, we need each other.

That's the lasting Truth I saw rise to the top as I watched all the documentaries about 9/11 earlier this month.

We need to invest in each other because we are stronger when we work together.

I hope these are issues we consider the next time we cast our votes.  

I know this isn't like most of my blog articles. But these things have been echoing in my mind for a while now so I thought I'd share them. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Write for Eden

If you're a fan of Eden Riegel's, like I am, you probably have a thing or two you'd like to say to the powers that be at The Young and the Restless about the fact that they are letting a talented, Emmy winning actress go and/or about the way this news was delivered to her today, via Twitter, before she finally received official notice.

Tell them you hope they'll keep Eden on the show, even on a recurring basis. The rest of the message is up to you.

While you're at it, drop a line to the soap magazines and share your thoughts with them, too.

I'd like to make sure you know who should receive those comments so I'm posting address for snail mail and email here:

The Young and the Restless
CBS Television City
Attention: put name here
7800 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Co-Executive Producers: Maria Arena Bell

Head Writer: Maria Arena Bell

­Co-Head Writers: Hogan Sheffer, Scott Hamner

Soap Publications

Soap Opera Weekly
Public Opinion
4 New York Plaza
New York, NY 10004
Speak Out
c/o Soaps In Depth
270 Sylvan Ave.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ  07632
Soap Opera Digest
SOD Sound Off
4 New York Plaza
New York, NY 10004

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My 9/11

I had just dropped my daughter off at school, then drove to a nearby store to pick up a couple of things. On the way home I turned on my car radio and heard the news about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. They were speculating that it must have been a small private plane of some kind.

When I got home I turned on the TV and saw the second plane hit the south tower. I was watching NBC so it was Katie Couric and Matt Lauer & Al Roker who were starting to speculate that it might have been a terrorist attack.

I called my husband, who was in his office at the church where he worked in Annapolis, and told him what had happened. They brought a TV into the office and turned it on to try to bring in one of the local channels. The TVs there were used for showing videos to classes only so there was no antenna or cable connection. After a few minutes of barely getting a signal they were using a wire as an improvised antenna and watching the news there.

I called one of my friends whose son was in my daughter's class. We were both at home, alone, trying to make sense of it and we stayed on the phone for quite a while, just taking a little comfort in the sound of a familiar voice. Some parents were bringing their kids home from school but I decided letting my daughter's day continue as normally as possible would be best until I knew there was a reason to pick her up.

After the plane flew into the Pentagon my husband came home and together we watched the news. We learned later that the father of one of our daughter's friends worked at the Pentagon. His office was in the section that was hit but he was out of the office that day.

My life was not directly affected, though. I wasn't there in New York or DC. But DC is just a half hour west of us. Our house is in the flight path of BWI airport so the sound of planes overhead was common. Suddenly there were no airliners in the skies at all. But we did see fighter planes turning overhead as they patrolled the skies over DC. Midshipmen in their uniforms had been a common sight around downtown Annapolis but now they were restricted to the Yard (campus). While we had always been able to drive through the Naval Academy no vehicles were allowed anymore unless they had a Department of Defense sticker, a rule that persists to this day. The main entrance to the Academy was changed to allow for tighter security checks.

I remember the first time I saw a passenger jet overhead once they'd been cleared to fly again. I heard it first, then stopped in my tracks and watched until it was out of sight. My heart was heavy for those who had died because an enemy had used those as weapons.

Much has been said and written about 9/11 and I don't think I can add anything to the narrative. When these anniversaries roll around we can't help but turn our attention to those events, though, still trying to make sense of it all, to find some lesson that will last.

I keep thinking of all the people who started that day like any other, getting dressed and going to work as usual. Many found strength and compassion beyond their wildest imagination before the day was done. Lives were lost that day, but many lives were also saved. By ordinary people who started their day like any other. Police officers, Firefighters, or just the guy who worked in the next office.

We need each other.

People may argue about the details of history and the political and diplomatic response to the events of 9/11 or the lasting cultural impact but one thought rises to the top for me whenever I turn my attention to that day.

We need each other.

Life is precious. Each and every one. And we need each other.

I hope we think of that as the news media grows tired of this topic and returns to reporting on the race for the presidency as if it were a sporting event. Which party is winning, which politician is losing this week and what will it all come down to on election day? How you cast your vote determines how the government functions at all levels from the White House down to your neighborhood.

We need each other.

To work together

To look after each other

To make life better for everyone.

Because life is precious.

Each and every one.