Boy do things suck, so let’s keep talking about just how badly…’cause that’s productive…?

I feel like I’m doing a lot of defending outside attacks on stuff lately, either my own or (and yes I am having this argument right now) making an attempt to defend public subsidies to PBS.  It’s making me really tired to feel like I have to keep doing this, and how much I hear about how everything is no longer a choice because no matter what, it’s just a choice between the “lesser of two evils”.  Pardon my profanity (well not really, when have I ever been politically correct), but BULLSHIT.

OK.  Some local PBS Affiliates do a really crappy job of contributing to their communities and use federal funds to broadcast a “liberal biased and ultimately unnecesary” set of shows.  GREAT.  Thanks.  You win.

OK.  So you don’t agree with Mitt Romney‘s views on marriage, and Barak Obama‘s ability to influence a democratic-controlled legislature is non-existent.  WOW.  Incredible!  They both suck.  You win.

OK.  Moms on welfare are having 20 babies to support their crack habit in the rent free 2 bedroom project penthouse, and the ones actually following welfare-to-workfare are ending up homeless or in jail because they lost their child care when they got a job and the police found their 12 year old breast feeding the newborn while the were at their second job today because rent was due last week.  FANTASTIC!  let’s just cut all of thos programs and let natural selection do it’s thing.  You win

So now we’re at Critics: 3  The rest of the world that I want to live in: 0

Let’s take away all the federal subsidies for PBS.  Goodbye community forums for the nonprofit sector in Denver.  Goodbye Ice Cream socials on the 75th 90+ degree day in Cheeseman Park this summer.  Sure, there’s some other group with extra money lying around that will pick up the slack. It will be one less station I have to skip over when I’m surfing my cable guide too…

Let’s forget the fact that one of the perks we get with Barak Obama is Michelle:  the most loved first lady since Jackie O, and the most effective since maybe even Elanor Roosevelt.  Not to mention, isn’t she kind of like a Hillary, just without all of the fear of lesbianism and misogyny that has been thrown at our Secretary of State for over 20 years now, and no one will argue that she works her as off for all of us, despite the fact that everyone apparently can’t stand her?  She must be doing something right when  her boss admits on many an occasion that she works harder than he does, and she’s good at it…

And let’s stop supporting the welfare abusers.  Come to think of it, I don’t have kids, so why should I pay property tax to support our horrendous public schools?  Those kids will learn a lot more from having an extra 40 hours of unstructured and unsupervised activity creating graffiti on my front porch than they could ever learn in a civics class…oh wait didn’t we stop teaching that in public school?  That’s right, why teach the kids about how thee government works?  They’re just going to vote for the guy who bitches loudest and most often!!  THAT must be why Obama’s community organizing experience got him the presidency…

I like the fact that kids go to school.  Our educational system as a whole could be a lot better, but I have some theories from my own teaching experience as to what sucks, and it’s NOT the people in front of he classroom.  I can’t say that it’s THE reason I know how to spell, but I will always remember Cookie Monster‘s favorite song.  Because of the work I do I am well aware of the many ills of our political and social support systems, but I also know that there is a whole lot more good that comes out of those things that we never bother to say thank you for.

I founded a nonprofit that uses our action statement as our mission and driving force “empowering individuals and communities, redefining philanthropy”.  More often than not, I get a reaction of disbelief when people hear that out loud.  I’m going to redefine philanthropy?  So it probably comes as no suprise that I have gotten many a giggle when I start to explain that this action statement comes from a belief that i state as follows:

all people, if given the opportunity, will make the choice to do the right thing

Think about it.  How often do we state explicitly something like “you can make a real difference by volunteering at an animal shelter one hour a week”, or “your five dollar donation will buy a volunteer dinner so that they can lead tonight’s field trip to the aquarium”, or “thank you for being an involved parent and making sure that your children get the support they need at home to do well in school”?  More often than not, and I admit my own guilt in this, we scoff at Alyssa Milano asking me to give 50 cents a day to save a child’s life in her UNICEF commercial?  I know for a fact that her service to UNICEF is a lot more than her 30 second spot, and has cost her thousands of dollars that she has NEVER asked or been offered alternative compensation for.

Maybe if we too a moment out of our day, and choose to make one less criticism or complaint, hell let’s go for the big score and even replace that negative statement with something GOOD about what we wanted to criticize, might we actually learn to appreciate that there is something out there worth our appreciation?  Maybe if, instead or telling our kids to “make good choices”, and informed them of what those good choices actually were once in a while, maybe those would be the choices they make instead of doing what we told them exactly NOT to do?

Maybe if we started creating more opportunities for good things to happen, is it actually possible that good things just might become our reality?

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