Sunday, November 4, 2012

2012 Vision Walk - Walk Comments

Collage By Ada Hoag

When I was a young boy the idea of being blind was the scariest thing I thought about. I couldn’t imagine how one could overcome the adversity of blindness.

I’m not sure why this was (maybe still is) such a hurdle to me. I grew up around people who were living with and overcoming adversity in their lives. Both my paternal grandparents were deaf from childhood due to scarlet fever; it didn’t stop my grandfather from having a successful career with IBM and being a constant champion for people with disabilities. My father was a deaf educator and the deaf community was a second home for me. I grew up with and watched kids and adults living with deafness and still leading full lives.

Seven years ago I learned that my boys have RP; it tore me apart to think about the impact on them. I was haunted again by my childhood fears. To help deal with my grief I turned to the Foundation where I found kindred spirits, started getting educated and found out what I can do to help. This has grown into a relationship of being engaged with foundation and a commitment to support the Foundation’s work through Vision Walk.

So ... I Vision Walk to build awareness and in that I try to build community; Vision Walking fills me with hope, hope that my sons and others living with and dealing with retinal degenerative diseases will overcome this adversity in their lives and achieve their aspirations and dreams. I walk to do my part to help find cures to these diseases.

2012 Election - Four More Years

My election blog ... also posted on FB.
This is my musings on why I choose Obama and in general why I choose the Democratic party.

1) Diversity – When I see an Obama crowd I see all the colors and nuances of our human rainbow. I know they select who we see in the filmed footage, but I also know the diversity is real. I fundamentally believe this diversity is key to the future of our country; engaging all people in the dialog is what Forward is all about for me. The policy choices in the next 4 years are limited; it is crucial that everybody be at the table, to provide their input and to understand and support the tough choices we have to make. Failure to work together, to listen to and consider all points of view and to be open to compromise and we will go backward; I don’t want to go back.

2) Leadership – Obama inherited a fiscal train wreck. Only one time in our national history did we have a more challenging economic situation – the Great Depression. In fact the Great Recession may have turned out much worse had our leaders not taken the actions they took. I credit Obama for being a steady hand on the tiller through these challenging seas of fiscal uncertainty. I also am aware that we cannot declare victory in our efforts to overcome the Great Recession, but I am certain that we cannot return to the policies of the past and be successful as a nation. I vote for four more years to continue to steady this nation’s economy.

3) Intolerance - Carl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, Grover Norquist, Mitch McConnell, the Koch brothers, Fox News and other persons and entities who seem to believe so totally in themselves and their ideas that they will not compromise. What are we to think when the minority leader of the US Senate, Mitch McConnell announces two years before the election that his number #1 legislative priority is to keep Obama a one term president? For the next two years our Congress was in gridlock and I primarily blame Republican leadership. The only compromise I remember was on taxes and only when “everyone” got what they wanted in the way of tax relief – extension of the Bush Tax cuts and extension of the Payroll Tax cuts. We can’t keep compromising like that and pushing off the tough decisions on our fiscal problems until tomorrow.

4) Humility - We need to share our ideas, listen to the ideas of others and work together; we owe this to our children. Inflexibility and intolerance are destructive and undermine the principles our country was founded on. I look at the increasing diversity of our great nation with hope and excitement.

If you haven’t voted please do.