Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Audit Your Affiliations

Who we support, who will affiliate with, and what we do tells a story of what we believe in and what matters to us.

In the United States there is great freedom to be what we want to be and do what we want to do? There are limitless ways to direct your time, money, interests, and relationships to the life you dream of.

I support this amazing potential as long as your choices do not limit the good choices of others.

Individuals will never be equal in all things--there will always be variability with respect to what we have and how we live, yet we can work to ensure that people have the basic elements of living well, elements such as access to quality education and health care, adequate housing, nutritious food, living without prejudice and living with the essential rights to speak freely, practice your religion, and do as you please as long as you are not hurting others.

As I consider my own place in this big world of potential and possibility, I recognize that it's essential to audit your affiliations now and then--who do you support and spend time with, and why does that matter.

I get hundreds of invitations in person, by phone, and online to contribute to all kinds of causes. I'm always hesitant since I'm not rich and I have committed to paying my bills, educating my children, time with family members, saving for retirement, some fun, and working in a job that doesn't lead to great wealth. Yet I have a few dollars to contribute--who will get those dollars?

I will contribute a few dollars to people running against current #GOP candidates who have continuously supported President Trump's disrespectful, demeaning, and potentially illegal efforts as president. I want to see our United States Congress free of self-serving, bigoted, lazy, and unpatriotic individuals, individuals who vote for their personal pocketbooks and power rather than standing up for the rights and opportunities for all Americans and the global partnerships and efforts that will make for a better world. I'm disgusted by the greed, inactivity, and selfishness of these politicians who are paid by our hard earned tax dollars and do nothing for the people of the United States.

I will contribute some money to the ACLU and Amnesty International since I value human rights and I ache when I see the stories of peoples around the world denied their rights to live a good and simple life. This is abominable and I see these two agencies as agencies working to right the tide in this regard.

I will contribute time and continued membership to the teachers' union because I know that hard working individual educators who have chosen a profession because they believe in the promise and potential education holds do not have the time, energy, money, or support to battle against greedy organizations, individuals, and companies that work to deny everyday people their rights to a quality education for their children. Teachers have to unionize if they want to promote what's best for American schools, families, and children.

I will give a few dollars to #educolor to as that organization is helping me to teach all my students with good knowledge, truth, equity, and strength.

I will contribute dollars to innovating what I can do with and for my students. While I work in a system that provides good support, there is often little to no financial support for innovation or personalization when it comes to teaching well. Rather than continued fighting to obtain those dollars via the system, I'll spend my own money as well as write grants to many generous organizations that exist, organizations that match my desire for more student-centered, active and meaningful educational experiences and supports for all children.

I will continue to support my beliefs for a free and equitable nation by using my time to read, research, learn, and write to support the best of whom we can be as a people for and with one another. And of course, when possible, I'll support local causes that people I know and respect are working for.

We will all choose different affiliations in life. We all have varying abilities to contribute, but we all have a responsibility to think deeply about who we are and what we support. That's a responsibility inherent with regard to living in a free country. What will you choose? Who will you support? How will you audit your affiliations and why does that matter?