I admit I was deeply disappointed this past week when the voters of Glendive defeated a school bond issue. There were lots of pros and cons in the local newspaper and for the most part they had legitimate rationales for their concerns. But the bottom line for me was the importance of education and the need our students have for the best a community can offer. Education has become a low priority for most people and I am afraid the level of knowledge and understanding our world in a positive way, is in decline. The idea “Oh, it’s good enough” is ‘not good enough’. I remember one person saying that an education was not only about getting training for a job, but it was perhaps more importantly to help us live together in the world with our fellow humans. To see the world as a bigger place.
As a liberal arts major in college I know I had a wide-ranging introduction to all the good things the world has to offer. To be a “nay-sayer” is to shut my eyes to the world outside and to live only inside my own head. I have often wondered why it is so much easier to say “no”, than to say “yes” or at the very least, “let’s think about it.” To say “no” shuts the door on discussion. It prevents learning, growing, stretching to see the possibilities in another person’s viewpoint. To watch a baby is to make me think we are born with a certain level of negativity. “Mine” and “No” are often what we hear a child say early on. We need to be taught to share, to say yes, to understand the small things we sometimes have to give up to work for the greater good.
Once in Dawson County we had a state representative who was overheard to say there was no need for him to travel to Helena for the session. He could vote “no” right from his home without wasting the taxpayers’ money. Again that brick wall opposed to progress for the greater good and the bottom line to give our children the very best that we can.
While this negativity has been around a long time, I think the current political climate has given people permission to be “against” anything or anyone that does not think as they do. The harshness with which disagreement is met does not leave the door open to compromise or coming together to at least talk things through.
The sad part in all this is that the kids are the losers. And the future of this world is more hesitant and cast in a darker hue. We have to be positive, we have to look ahead with hope. To believe this is as good as life is going to be, is losing the point of living in the light.