We seem to hear so little these days from our spiritual or political leaders on values that uplift, educate and help us evolve toward a caring culture. What fills the news is hate and exploitation. The current climate of “living to work” instead of “working to live” has become the norm, as has the greed of so many that has other Americans working harder for less. Considering that, it felt appropriate on this Labor Day to share the words of Robert Kennedy, a devout Catholic, whose ideas herein are so in sync with Goddess ideals.
Here is what Robert Kennedy had to say 42 years ago:
“Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product … if we should judge America by that – counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.
“Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”
Democratic Congressman, Alan Grayson, who is so vocal about representing the needs of average Americans, sent this around this morning and I’m sharing it with you this Labor Day.
Grayson went on to say, when Robert Kennedy said these words, the unemployment rate in America was 3.7%. Today, it is almost three times as high. Too many of our working brothers and sisters are out of work, thanks to over a decade of economic mismanagement. 10% of us are unemployed, and the other 90% work like dogs to try to avoid joining them. Which is just what the bosses want.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. I look forward to a Labor Day where every worker has a job, every worker has a pension, every worker has paid vacations, and every worker has the health care to enjoy life.
And as your columnist, a leader in the Goddess Community and a social activist, I’d like to add that we resist equating materialism, greed, Christianity and the predator capitalism victimizing so many as what democracy and this country is all about. These things have become the norm in our society and we must reject them. And it has not always been that way. Our parents can remember when one paycheck supported a family, workers automatically got decent benefits, including health care, and there was job security. This is being stolen from us bit by bit and it is up to us to demand better.
On this Labor Day, I pray to Goddess, whose ideals I believe are about the needs of The Many and Not the Few, that as human beings and Americans, we begin to measure our true wealth by our quality of life, what we do in the world to uplift humanity and encourage tolerance, diversity, freedom of religion, equality and knowledge, as we work toward a caring culture for all.
So Mote It Be –