Something to Consider During these Stressful Times

While there are many positive things occurring in some of our lives, for others, this has been a very stressful time. I sympathize with my fellow teachers who, in addition to losing their jobs, have been much maligned by the public — often by the very group that is responsible for the turmoil in education. I wonder what I can do to support other public workers in similar situations — educate myself about human trafficking, boycott businesses that distribute products that result from human suffering, plus continue to support the causes to which I am committed. Though I have so much for which I am thankful, I find I am tired and overwhelmed with trying to be thoughtful because I am being pulled in so many different directions Yet, being aware of what is going on in the world is a small price to pay when I am so fortunate and so many others are suffering.
It is disturbing that some people seem to look for scape-goats whenever their lives take a negative turn, while others continue exploiting the helpless. I had been thinking about this predicament for a few weeks when a friend shared an article written by Mansfield Frazier. In his article called Silos of Self-Interest, Mr. Frazier discusses watching the Native Americans picket Opening Day at Jacobs (Progressive) Field from 1996-2011. As recently as April 1, 2011 he observed that some of the people yelling insults were women, union members, blacks, etc. These people who are representatives of groups who have asked to be supported in their various efforts mistreat others outside of their groups. Frazier sees them as being in their own silo — only responding “when their own ox is being gored, so they fail to act in concert with each other . . . And this takes place virtually across the board.” He contends that the same corporate mindset that refuses to treat Indians with dignity is stripping unions of collective bargaining rights, and the victims as individuals have failed to see the big pictures.
He, like I, has been mystified that other groups who have been mistreated have failed to join their brothers and sisters in a basic request to be treated with dignity and respect. He suggests that if people who witness wrongdoing consistently refuse to support businesses and agencies that are guilty of disregarding simple requests for consideration, a change would be made quite quickly. He asks us to care about each other’s needs, and not limit our outrage to our own personal agendas. In other words, Montgomery boycott strategies for the 21st Century might well be the solution. He contends that these attacks on various groups would stop if a coalition of school teachers, safety forces, toll booth workers, blacks, gays, women, Native Americans, etc. could break out of their “silos of self-interest” and begin collaborating by looking out for each other . . . We could stop being victimized by the few who manipulate the masses. The article ends with the simple question, “Are we our brother‟s
keepers?”
It seems that a voice of reason has suggested a viable solution for the many subgroups that fight for equality. Is it so difficult to respond to the plight of another because it is the right thing to do? Couldn’t we each benefit from efforts to empower us all? I found I was less tired and more hopeful after considering this advice.

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One Response to Something to Consider During these Stressful Times

  1. Kathe Mayer says:

    I appreciated your insights into the busyness and stress life can give us today. Thanks for writing it.

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