Sunday, December 03, 2006

Observations

I'm catching this commercial out of the corner of my eye as I post tonight's edition. My eyes roll. I guess I can imagine who these commercials appeal to, but to the rest of us, all it seems to say is "look how fabulous, how pretty, how "whatever "we look. You want to be like us. Buy whatever it is you think we're selling, and you will be." It was a Macy's commercial. I didn't catch what it was they were selling, but I suppose it was clothing. Clothing designed for razor thin women in a world where everything is super-sized. I see a big disconnect here.

A black lady who frequents my wife's shoe department, a teacher, described a student, a foster child of 13 whose mother had passed away. The girl had NOTHING, simply adequately fed, was picked on by fellow students, was dressed in "rags". A manager, overhearing this, allowed her a huge discount on the outfits this teacher was wanting to buy for the student. Another shopper, overhearing the story, asked the teacher to bring the girl to her home, that she'd allow her to pick out anything she desired to wear. My wife's friend bought a necklace and asked the teacher to give it to her. This rang with me. I was well fed as a foster child myself. I don't understand a system where people are convinced to "care" for lost children yet seem to not understand the concept of CARE. The motivation for becoming a foster family needs to rise above the money they are given to do it. It's not a JOB, and that money is not a paycheck. Bob bless these strangers who responded.

Yes, I really do see good things all around me. And I know people who go through life with an uplifted, positive, everything is rosy attitude. The main difference between what I am aware of and what cloud these people are walking around on is that I see a glass half full knowing it could be filled all the way to the top. What they see is a glass of water, what more do you want? If you should ever volunteer to serve the homeless at a soup kitchen for Christmas, perform this experiment for me. Ask the volunteers around you if any of them will be there tomorrow night, or the night after. The point I'm making here is not that we aren't doing enough; the point I'm making is how sad it is that such good deeds need doing to begin with. We don't need fish dinners, we need fishing poles.

The following as been an ongoing issue with the Wiccan community. I am so happy to see at least some form of resolution. The battle for our rights continues, however, until the VA is forced to cease it's discriminatory attitude.

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan saw a Wiccan symbol placed on a memorial plaque for her husband Saturday, after fighting the federal government for more than a year over the emblem.

Roberta Stewart, widow of Sgt. Patrick Stewart, and Wiccan leaders said it was the first government-issued memorial plaque with a Wiccan pentacle - a five-pointed star enclosed in a circle. More than 50 friends and family dedicated the plaque at Northern Nevada Veterans Cemetery, about 30 miles east of Reno.

They praised Gov. Kenny Guinn for his role in getting the Nevada Office of Veterans Services to issue the plaque in September. The agency cited its jurisdiction over maintenance of the state cemetery.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes more than 30 symbols, including more than a dozen variations of the Christian cross and the atomic whirl used by atheists, but not the pentacle.

VA officials have said they are rewriting rules for approving emblems, but the process requires a public comment period.

Last month, Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued the VA on behalf of Stewart and others for its refusal to include the Wiccan emblem.

"Our people are on the front line in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it's not right they're not getting equal treatment," said the Rev. Selena Fox, one of the Wiccan organizers of the event.

About 1,800 active-duty service members identify themselves as Wiccans, according to 2005 Defense Department statistics. Wiccans worship the Earth and believe they must give to the community. Some consider themselves "white" or good witches, pagans or neo-pagans.

Stewart and four other soldiers died Sept. 25, 2005, when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.

OK, this is my mishmash of observations, served up for your perusal. Enjoy.

6 comments:

homo escapeons said...

Thanks for exposing the goodwill that still exists in the hearts of most people.
The only thing that I can stomach about this whole season is that for whatever reason some people stop thinking about themselves and help others..it doesn't matter why as long as they do it.
The acknowledgement of Wiccan soldiers is an accomplishment in your country. I noticed that Keith Ellison (Dem/Minn) the first Muslim congressman, is getting a lot of hate mail for his decision to use a Koran at his swearing in ceremony.
Since there is no official good book outlined by the Fathers of the Constitution who wisely left out that separation of church/state out on purpose...unlike the belief of many Americans your country actually isn't a Christian Theocaracy...and maybe one day that truth will be self evident.

Buffalo said...

Mish-mash or not, it is truth. Well said, Michael.

THE Michael said...

Thanks, HE. Soldiers of ALL faiths fight for this country, and no, we do not fight for a Christian theocracy, but a nation that respects all beliefs. That is the only thing I am willing to fight for, and Sgt Stewart gave his life for it.

THE Michael said...

Thanks Buf.

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Interesting bits of information. The issue regarding our government finally acknowledging the Wiccan symbol is a step in the right direction ... all faiths need to be honored and respected equally. With my nonprofit agency, we see donations skyrocket at the holidays - however, I am encouraged by the fact that a lot of our holiday givers are coming back throughout the rest of the year and are continuing to donate goods/money, as well as volunteering. Regarding the Macy's I-see-thin-people ad, I wish we could see an accurate reflection of average-sized men/women - is it any wonder that eating disorders, depression and anxiety regarding body image continue to be a significant health problem?? Thanks for the food for thought, JP

whitesnake said...

Trouble is......all this love and caring and helping out and being nice......only happens at this time of year and that is a bad thing.