Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

When the Going Gets Tough…

Disasters give one unassailable gift: We’re reminded we need one another. We know we need a central government that’s willing to take care of people—to be heroic when the situation requires it. We remember why we loved our democracy—majority rule—that was meant to lift everyone to the same level of importance. The price of the cars floating, smashing together in the storm surge doesn’t matter. The difference lies in the ability of the owners to recoup their losses. Aid is supposed to level the field.

Rule by a minority of the people operates responding to wealth and power, not need. As the Far Right pushes us closer to that reality, daring to risk every right and value we’ve fought for since 1776, it’s not the majority of people who are making considered choices. A large portion of the majority is easily misled about the nature of the future at stake. People struggling to make ends meet day by day don’t have the time or resources to spot specious arguments and bald lies. But it’s always the working majority who suffer the most in downturns and disasters. What does minority rule look like? Watch how Putin treats his own citizens, forcing them to participate in an election that’s fake, forcing them to fight a war they detest, locking them away with lies or murdering them if they disagree.

“Surprise, you got a birthday present!” announced my husband as he came in with the mail. He was kidding. What I had was a jury summons. I sighed. I didn’t want to surrender all that time sitting and sitting and sitting, and I hate holding someone’s fate in my hands. In some states, I’m of an age to opt out. Not here. But I’m not complaining as much as usual. I’m seeing what happens when the rule of law is misused—delayed, twisted and deformed so it doesn’t do its job. We need unbiased, honest jurors and judges and lawyers to make our system work. We need to be able to trust one another to be there when someone is falsely accused or when a lawyer uses nefarious tactics to undermine the spirit of the law or when rich people seize benefits meant to aid those who need them badly.

“What a piece of work is Man…” should be a compliment, not a snide criticism. At the end of life, how we treated one another will be our report card. We need to look to one another for comfort, for encouragement, for caring. We need to help each other because that’s how our species was designed. We need to be able to trust. We need to believe that the rule of law, scientific facts, and unbiased compassionate truth are worth the trouble it takes to consult them before we act. “Love one another” wasn’t a suggestion.

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