Friday, November 9, 2012
Election Day holds hope in minds of voters registered or not, conscious or not. Renewal, good or bad is always exciting. At our college park organic garden this week, on Election Day, while digging deep holes, pulling weeds and raking soil in preparations of planting spring blooming flowers with our special day students, I brought up the election. Apparently they had been sort of warned about talking politics but I stepped right into it and totally encouraged a conversation. It seems the older one gets the more significance Election Day holds along with more longing to share with younger generations the urgency to strongly encourage them to take control of their futures and changing times, one way done well with a good vote. Complete and total repeat and mimic of remarks and rhetoric that they have heard in their respective homes begins tumbling seamlessly from innocent mouths. "Someone really stupid did not do what they were supposed to do and now they are going to really mess everything up!" falls out of a sweet young man’s mouth. "Yeah but what about the right to have an abortion and women's rights and Social Security" remarks a beautiful young woman? “This is fantastic”, I say, conversation with respect to each other’s opinions is totally moving in directions to negotiate compromise”. “We are all entitled to our views and we can share them with each other on this great day of privilege”, I tell them. Blank stares from teenagers. Arguments start to set in and I think that maybe I may have screwed up but just as quickly as tempers flared that fizzle and these two particular opposing students, who are very much alike and have true respect and affection for each other start to compromise before our eyes. As the teacher that told them not to discuss it in the first place was getting ready to brain me realizes what is happening she joins in and makes a few amazing points of her own. Discourse is good no matter the age. This must be what the mediators of political debates that go well must feel like. I felt great. I felt hopeful for our future on that Election Day. I wonder if they realize that we live in a country where we get to actually voice our opinions out loud without hanging or decapitations. Our job is to make sure they know, but more importantly that they understand and comprehend this incredible and not always universal deed we are allowed to perform every once in awhile to keep things somewhat on track in our social and economic lives. What if we had enough money in the schools at middle and high level to really teach all students the importance of this knowledge and deed. In theory this is already in place in Gov, History and Econ classes but with the overcrowding and over worked teachers I opine that this just aint happening and when you factor in the brain of most teens and where their thoughts are most of the time I truly believe it an unfortunate truth that all this hard taught knowledge and efforts on the parts of parents and teachers just aint gonna play out until the twenties hit. Hopefully that coincides with a 4 year cycle.