Printed on: November 21, 2012

Dreaming of a better place

Kathy Stanger
Local columnist

The world I'd like my great-granddaughters to inherit would look far different than the one we know today, writes Kathy Stanger.

Something about the change of seasons lends a melancholy air to my days, and I am waxing philosophical. In my mental lotus position, I have been dreaming of the kind of world I wish my three little great-granddaughters could inherit. Fat chance, you're probably thinking. Me, too.

But, as I'm dreaming anyway, here goes.

My ideal world would have an education system wherein our marvelous teachers could actually teach rather than having to deal with and solve the wide variety of social ills that our children now take to class with them. The teachers' union wouldn't even be needed because we would have a better understanding of our teachers' value. They would not always need to be on the defensive, and -- as long as this is my dream -- they would be richly rewarded.

People in the entertainment and sports industries would have a profound sense of the power they wield and would take pride in using their talent to edify rather than to titillate. What's more, they would realize they can be creative and decent at the same time, thereby earning the adulation they receive.

Government and the necessary political expression would merely be what it is designed to be: a method for discovering the desires of the majority while protecting the rights of the minority. All issues would be presented and debated honestly with complete transparency and good losers all around. Opposing sides would have a genuine desire to understand the positions of those across the aisle and a conviction that their own view isn't always the best.

There would be ample opportunity for all families to procure honest employment with the resulting financial freedom that allows familial relationships to flourish, stripped of the depression and anxiety that accompany poverty. Society would thus abhor dishonest dependence, but would provide rehabilitative programs for those with very real need. Each person would be valued.

There is one area in which our children will do just fine as long as we adults learn to keep our mouths shut, and that is the world of race and ethnicity where they are light-years ahead of us already, and where they will all soon be color blind.

They will also do better than we have done in the world of gender identity. In their world, all people will be accepted and can live without a defensive posture because they will have genuine equality in every area we humans have the power to bestow.

Necessary to all the above, however, will be a world of complete religious freedom wherein a person's conviction of faith or of no faith is honored and defended. With this fundamental freedom guaranteed, all other issues listed above will be handled with respect and friendship.

Don't wake me up.

Stanger is a freelance writer and community activist.