A Sense of Power

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John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune

My junior high social studies teacher, Mr. Bice, once stated, “The two most important jobs in the world don’t require a license: being a parent and being a citizen.”

No truer words were ever said.

Being a parent and being a citizen both require a great deal of responsibility: the responsibility to be knowledgeable and educated; the responsibility to hold others accountable and the responsibility to behave in a way that we want our children to behave.

Even though most American say they are fed up with our elected officials in Washington, I can’t say we are being particularly responsible citizens. And if members of the House of Representatives were in school rather than in Congress, the principal would already have made phone calls to their parents.

Unfortunately, the American public hasn’t been acting like good parents either.

Good parents don’t tolerate bullying and name calling.

Good parents don’t tolerate individuals putting their own wants and desires above those of others.

And most of all, good parents don’t teach their children that money and power are more important than being caring, compassionate and trustworthy.

But that is exactly what is happening. We are letting Corporate America buy politicians and public opinion. Take, for example, Citizens United,  which legalized the concept that corporations have the same rights as people. That’s like the school’s giving their business partners the same status as parents.

Unfortunately, too many people equate money with power and power with being important. If we want to change politics, we have to change that perception. I don’t know why that is so difficult as I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that most important people in my life never bought my respect. They earned it by giving their time to help others. They earned it by giving up something they wanted so someone else who needed it more.  And they earned it by making choices that weren’t self serving.

None of that requires money, but it does require a sense of being powerful.

There are those who would argue that we lose power when we give something away. But I, for one, am not buying that. I’m not buying it at all. I’m more than willing to give my vote to someone who stands up for what I believe and not for what they think will meet their own desires.

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About Trina Bartlett

I live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, with one dog, two cats, a daughter in high school, a son starting his latest adventures at West Virginia University and a husband who works strange hours. When I'm not working as a director at a nonprofit social service organization or being a mom, I can generally be found riding my bike, walking my dog and stirring things up.

Posted on October 5, 2013, in News, perspective, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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