Separate Identities


When I was a boy, if my mother caught my brother and me playing with sticks she would call out, “Stop that or you’re going to put someone’s eye out!”  Occasionally, we would wander out of her line of vision and continue playing with the sticks until one of us got wounded.  Neither of us lost an eye, but we were, as my brilliant mother foresaw, injured nonetheless.  That is what is happening in our economy right now in America and across the globe.  The constituents have been yelling at our leaders, “Make a deal!  Compromise!  Keep us strong, or you’re going to put someone’s eye out!”  Not unlike my brother and me in the land of yesteryear, they didn’t listen.

The Republicans and the Democrats, the Tea Partiers and the Independents have been so focused on being right that they have forgotten about us, the people they were elected to serve.  Our labels have become more important than our economy, our quality of life, and our people.  Raging elephants and stubborn donkeys abound when it comes time to talk about what is best for our country.  As they fight, though, we all lose out in relation to our financial solvency, global economic strength, and respect among our citizens and around the world.

As we watch the S&P and Dow decline, as we watch our credit rating from Standard and Poor dwindle from a AAA to AA+ rating, as we watch people dependent on Social Security, Medicare, and other vital programs become victims of the national hatchet, all sides keep declaring victory in “the fight.”  What are they talking about?  The fight should be about what will keep our people healthiest; about what will keep our country strongest.  It shouldn’t be who gets the highest score in the win column.  What our legislators, and I mean those in every party and faction, need to experience right now is shame.  They should be embarrassed that our country has lost so much from their arrogance.  They should be red-faced that as they stand before the cameras blaming the “other side” for the problems, they have forgotten their abominable role in this process.  Rather they should humbly go before the American people, one by one, and say, “I’m so sorry I haven’t accomplished the work of the people in a dignified and effective manner.  I have shown my lack of focus, and I have behaved in a way that makes me cringe.”

Not one person in any part of government is likely to do that, even in the face of a Gallup poll reflecting a miniscule 18% approval rating of the legislature’s work.  They, and we who support them, have forgotten that before we are Democrats, before we are Republicans, before we are anything in our country, we must be Americans when it comes to the administration of our country.  But, perhaps, in some strange way we are expressing our americanism by being confrontational, angry, and short-sighted.  Who else could claim leaving the comforts of jolly old England for a desolate land like North America for a better life?  Who else has the shame of slavery, native genocide, contemporary classism, and the polarity of such extreme poverty and unimaginable wealth? We were born of a selfish, angry population. Have we changed so much?  Not really.

The year is 2011 and we still have not figured out that we are Americans first after 235 years of existence as a nation.  We have proof.  Just look at every facet of American life.  We must insist on our legislators working together with dignity, honor, and good faith as they go forward from here.  We must rally for unity, respect for others’ opinions, and a pattern of listening rather than blustering rhetoric.  Is it possible?  Certainly.  Is it likely?  I don’t know.

8 responses

  1. I have read many of your blogs, comments and more it’s very interesting to see how much of your family/adoption background you know I have also read of your personal preferences, however you don’t speak much of your spouse’s background would you like to share?

    1. Thank you for following my blogs, Zoe. To answer your question, my husband is Mexican and on his mother’s side, I go back to the late 1700s in Chihuahua, Mexico and Oaxaca, Mexico. I have no information about his birth father’s family, but his step-father’s family goes back to the 1500s in Germany, among other places.

      I always welcome conversation from my readers, so thank you for adding your voice, Zoe.

      James

    2. Wow so all of this geneology thing and you really click huh very interesting, well do you think that your spouse would like to know his birth father? or any siblings, cousins, etc on that side of his family? because from what I read on your blogs I can tell that you very much enjoy looking up your family right?

      1. I’m certain that if my husband’s father came to the door, he would answer it; however, I don’t know that he’ll ever go looking. I could be wrong, but that’s my sense. As for siblings, cousins, etc., I suspect David would like to meet them, but again, I don’t know if he’ll look and he hasn’t asked me to look.

  2. I get the feeling that I made you uncomfortable with my question I didn’t think I would, it’s just that you are so open to any kind of discussion I do, however have another question if you don’t mind does he even know any information on his family like fathers name, last name if he’s alive anything? the reason I ask all these questions is because when I was a little one my father left us and I would like to know why and who he is at least a clue I see all the advancement that you have made on tracking down your roots, but what about him?

    1. Dear Zoe,

      I’m not at all uncomfortable with your questions. I just don’t want to answer for my husband. His feelings are his own to share. He does have some information about his father, such as his name and approximate age. He does not know if his father is still alive, though. He has a number of one of his godparents who may know information, and I gave him that bit of info, but he’s never chosen to follow-up on it. After 45 years of absence, he is not very anxious to open that can of worms, but as I told him before, there comes a “too late” time. My brother never chose to find his birth parents, but I found his birth mother’s mother after he died. I learned a lot from that visit.

      Do you know your father’s name, birth date, place of birth? His parents’ names? If you weren’t adopted, you could still find his information on your birth certificate. Good luck on your search, Zoe.

      James

  3. You know James that is so true there is a “too late” time and he should take advantage of the present because the past never comes back, does he at least carry his birth father’s last name or first name? and if he does that’s good I don’t even have that I’ve gotten very few details on my father like he traveled all over the US and he might have been living in Nevada or Sacramento for a while, I don’t think my mother wants to dish out alot, ha ha ha ha you know I have a bit of a temper and I think she might be afraid of me lashing out at the poor man, although I have feelings of abandonment I would never do that afterall like I said the past is in the past and I live for today and another thing as old as I am I just want to see him for my own peace of mind and maybe a little bit of closure on my side, afterall if I want to live in peace with my self I need to start with my surroundings right?

    1. Dear Zoe,

      Yes, David does carry his father’s surname. His father has a very common name and determining which one is him would be very difficult. If David is not currently interested, I’m not going to do all the work to have it sit on the shelf.

      The thing I’ve found about animosity is that it is usually only one-sided. The one it injures is the person who feels it. The peace you talk about must be the goal. That can only be accomplished by the individual him- or herself. The other person actually won’t make that much difference in the process. But, usually one doesn’t know that until after the work is done.

      I hope you find your father and the peace you long for.

      James

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