Truly Powerful People (346)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

June, like most of us, is exasperated with congress and the political process in general. At lunch the other day she went on a rant about private money corroding and corrupting politicians, short term thinking causing long-term damage, wealth extraction strategies employed by the banks with the collusion of our public officials, the refusal of the justice department to prosecute the architects of the 2008 economic meltdown, and the lack of compromise in a two party system functiaonally designed for compromise. June is a fiery red head who actually turns the color of fire when she goes on a rant so I sat very still and watched the fire burn. “I know,” I said, nodding in agreement. “It’s awful,” I said.

Out of all good fiery crucibles, new ideas are forged. June said, in a fit of exasperation, “I ought to send my 92 year old mother to congress! She’d tell them what’s what and put an end to the stupidity!” It was such a good idea that it broke the spell of the rant and we laughed. What a great idea!

What if we sent our grandmothers to Washington to tell our elected leaders to cut it out? Behave. Play nice. What if the senate floor was invaded by a wave of sensible shoes, support stocking, floral print house-dresses and common sense? What if a wall of grandmothers stood between Washington and Wall Street?

Both of my grandmothers were short but I would not dare cross them; they saw through my lies, illusions and bogus arguments every time. Grandmothers can see through the nonsense and they aren’t afraid to call it out when they see it. “What are you thinking, boy? Do you have a fever or did you hit your head? I know you’re not that stupid!” Isn’t that the voice we are missing in our political debate? Aren’t those the eyes we want minding the financial gluttony? I was careful to be honest and respectful in their presence. I made different choices when I knew they were watching – and they were always watching. Wouldn’t our elected officials do the same? Can you imagine what our grandmothers and elderly mothers might do in a congressional session in which the members were debating whether pizza was a vegetable or not? After they wiped the tears of laughter from their eyes they’d send congress outside to play. “Go waste your time outside,” they’d chortle, “At least you’ll get some fresh air.”

I gave my grandmother my chair when she came into the room – it was expected of me – and I hope members of congress would do the same. As the wave of grey haired feminine wisdom poured into those hallowed chambers, I imagine all the expensive suits standing, “Please, take my chair.” Once the grandmothers were comfortably seated, they’d say to the now polite boys and girls, “Now, what’s this nonsense about health care (or taxes or political contributions,…)? Why can’t you youngsters get along? Lord, you’ve made a mess of things!”

The view at the end of life is much different than the view from the middle. The priorities change. When the end of life is in sight, the view of the pie is not nearly so limited and hoarding seems like so much nonsense. Grandmothers make enough pie for everyone and sharing is rewarded.

One Response

  1. I love this, I have sensible shoes and handknitted socks, I will go too. Thanks for the shift in conversation.

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