Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Not from me, you don't"

Many issues of the day become polarized by a phenomena I think of as "not from me, you don't." The thinking goes like this: If a class of people are given a right or access to something regarded as valuable, that must mean I will get less.

There are needs a-plenty. There are resources a-plenty. So what is the problem?

I think nothing, really, unless people fear that providing for one class of people means something will be taken away from what is regarded as theirs (a.k.a., "not from me you don't").

A democracy that is not representative of all persons isn't as strong as it can be. It's not a representative democracy. The goal is to work smarter, govern smarter. That means bringing all persons into the nation's societal system where they can function in a manner that makes the nation stronger.

When you provide for the rights of others, your rights become more valuable, not less. That's not socialism. That's not communism. That is a representative democracy - a republic - and the health of that type of society relies on all voices being heard. It is what separates that nation from all others.

I could list many issues where this type of thinking (maybe more of an emotional reaction, really) polarizes those who want to better society from others who also want to better society. There is no "side," for all want to better society. They just disagree about the best way to do it. Some feel it is necessary to legislate rights for others to ensure the rights will actually occur. Others feel the rights are there to be claimed for those who work hard enough or smart enough to claim them.

I don't want to polarize. I merely want to state my awareness of this phenomena, because I had to confront those feelings in myself. For me the issue was special education services. Incredibly, I learned that some felt my son's access to education services meant their children would get less. They couldn't see how providing for his education meant their child's education got better as well.

I can offer detailed examples. Plenty. Just not today. Today I'm simply wondering what lies at the basis of "not from me, you don't" thinking. Has it always been around? Will it always be part of our society - not for better, but for worse?


{Pseudonym} said...

Joy, I know I say it all the time, but the way you think and your voice is so refreshing. Your constant fight for the underdog is inspiring-even to people, like myself, who already do their fair share of fighting.

And I agree with you. I would give anyone the shirt off of my back, and I really don't understand people thinking otherwise. Stross deserves the same education and rights as everyone else...if I could give knowing I was helping families like yourself, I would in a heartbeat!

Joy said...

Hey, thanks, Pseu! You keep on keeping on as well. There is no one else like you. Just keep working for the good in everyone.