Children First

It is far beyond time for the supposed adults of this nation to make a decision regarding the direction we are going to take. Are we going to continue to abuse one another, take from one another, all the while pretending that having more possessions than the next makes us more important or in any way a better person? Are we going to continue believing that the only process that mattersis the accumulation of wealth, no matter how many of our neighbors we have to hurt in order to accomplish that? Are we going to continue playing politics with education and health care and issues of product and food and drug safety? In fact, are we going to continue pretending that this generation has any right whatsoever to behave as we do?

It is simply time that we all agree that we have only one duty, one responsibility we have been charged with and that is to make this planet into the heaven which we all know it should be. It is time to understand that it is our obligation to leave this planet a better place for our children than when we were given management.

Since America cannot seem to believe in or support anything new unless they are given a motto which fits on a bumper sticker, I hereby offer for a national movement the "Children First" campaign. With these three words as our guide, we will begin expecting our politicians to explain how every piece of legislation will make this a better world for everyone and how children's lives will be affected. With these three words as our guide, we will begin organizing in order to help each and every child to gain the education that they deserve and to achieve a life of happiness free of the burdens of poverty and hunger and illness and all of the other horrors so many Americans think is the due of anyone of a lesser financial status. With these three words as a guide, perhaps we will finally begin acting as if our every decision will be examined and eventually evaluated by our own children.

Here is how the process might work. While it is easily agreed that much of life must be centered on adult activities, each activity would be measured as to how it will affect our children. Any legislation introduced would be required to explain the expected future effects on the next generation. Any business which produces pollutants as a by-product of manufacture must show why their products are important enough to excuse the pollution and how they plan on eliminating the problem and in what time frame. Congress would have to show the majority of voters that their tax initiatives are not just greedy attempts to assist the accumulation of wealth for the few but, rather, how it will improve the lives of those who come next.

Basically, if each generation attempted to outdo the previous in providing for the next, we will quickly find that heaven on earth is a simple objective, after all. It is only greed and the violence which it inspires that stands between the horror that passes for today's reality and the concept of everyone having a life full of health and happiness.

Now, I realize that some disgraceful members of this nation will claim that such an idea is impossible or too "liberal" or some such nonsense. Well, I say that they are truly all that stands in the way of any true progress in this nation. It is they who's greed and self-centeredness wreaks havoc on any positive changes for the rest of us. It is they who have convinced some of us that wealth or affectation of fame are the measures by which we should judge one another. It is they who have glorified miserliness and made theft acceptable (but only on a huge scale. The theft of small amounts is still considered bad because only the poor steal small). It is they who have convinced enough people that the laws which protect us from the abuses of corporations are somehow evil and are currently in the process of destroying any defense we have ever had, all in the name of profits and campaign contributions. It is they who must take the responsibility for America being the mean, selfish and celebrity worshipping nation we have debased ourselves to. Nevertheless, they can easily be ignored and pushed aside as we move into a better future than they would allow.

We must begin thinking about what our children are going to inherit after we have trashed their world in pursuit of the almighty dollar. We must finally accept the fact that we were not given ownership over the earth but rather stewardship. We have been charged not with raping the planet, which seems to be the pleasure of far too many companies and politicians, but rather the intelligent management of its resources. We are not the lord of the manor but rather the caretaker. Should we ever accept that simple fact alone, our children's future happiness is assured.

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Copyright 10/24/97