#furlough #shutdown and #you

What does the shutdown of the U.S. government mean to you?

I’m directly impacted. My day job is gone, yes temporarily, but I sort of like serving my country and ensuring sustainable U.S. seafood – jobs, food, money, communities, environment all impacted by the harvesting of fish. OK, and I really like getting a paycheck.

We have important research being cancelled or postponed.

We have a fatal crash in Tennessee not being investigated.

Impending damage from hurricane Karen won’t be compensated.

Here are just a few economic impacts thanks to a blog at the NY Times.

How about those folks that have jobs thanks to government contracts?

 

What about that unconscious or conscious side effect of having elected officials acting like bullies on a playground?

Or the effect of having an employee not do the job they were hired to do? Like someone at McDonalds not serving hamburgers because they don’t want to or because they are vegetarian –  fully knowing that it was the job they were hired to do.

Yes it is that simple. The NUMBER ONE, NUMERO UNO, job of members of the U.S. Congress is to PASS A BUDGET!!!

Nevermind, they haven’t passed one in years and government agencies with important missions – missions that are at the core value systems of all Americans – have been working with skeleton crews and a pittance for budgets.

I do not like where we are right now. All because there are still people in this country that want to be the OTHER or are afraid of the OTHER…

You know what I’m talking about – it is hardwired in all of us. That need to compartmentalize other people to help you develop your sense of identity. To identify with something, someplace, someone – to justify your existence. The ammo necessary to hate someone, something, someplace, when you don’t know them, never have seen the thing or never visited the place.

On the innocent side of the spectrum of “otherism” is what makes a football game exciting – Beat the visiting team! Hoorah!

But this is also what makes walking down the street at night dangerous – they are from the other team – jump them. Or in this case it makes white, evangelical, southerners, right-wingers – afraid to be in the same line as poor people of color from different religions, states and from the left-wing when going for health care.

It has been said that these prejudices, this otherism, is unconscious, hard to get to and hard to change.

I say BULLSHIT to that.  Enough excuses. Open your eyes to your own prejudices, your own otherisms. Pay attention to your heart rate or blood pressure when you see someone you may have ideological, morphological, phenotypical, or geographical differences.

I think I am a nice person but it chaps my hide that I am pre-judged by people when I enter a room. I can see it in their eyes, I can see their unconscious neurons firing those habitual prejudices across their brain. It is rare when I see someone consciously halting that habit – changing their default behavior – to greet me as a human – an equal – a sister, with respect.

If you do it for me, I promise I’ll do it for you. And if I don’t, cuz I’m tired and/or hungry, let’s talk about it,  like adults, let’s agree to disagree on some things, but let’s focus on those things we share.

But don’t take my government and my livelihood hostage just because you can’t get over seeing others as equals.