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Friday, September 13, 2013

There is a Right Way and a Wrong Way - It Matters to Seniors

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One of my dearest friends lovingly calls me Jiminy Cricket. I couldn't be the beautiful Blue Fairy or even the cute puppet whose only desire is to be loved.  Nope - I have to be the munchkin green cricket with a big mouth and lots of unsolicited advice. Now that I think about it, I can see why she calls me Jiminy Cricket.  Anyway, today I am wishing that I could make the words of the song - When You Wish Upon a Star - sung by Jiminy in Walt Disney's Pinocchio truth.

When you wish upon a star.
Makes no difference who you are.
Anything your heart desires.
Will come to you.

Regrettably, I am wiser than Jiminy and I know that it does make a difference who you are.  In fact, all of the qualifiers that we use to identify ourselves like age, race, religion, gender, national origin, and so on make a difference. I also know that we cannot look to wishful, magical, mystical solutions as we seek peace, justice, understanding and truth.  It isn't enough to wish it so.  We have to work to make it so.  The work is taxing and can be unforgiving at times.  The really disenchanting realization is that not every one wants peace, justice, understanding or truth.  Some folks are easily pacified and others just don't care.  Still others seem to be in pursuit of oppositional concepts like war, injustice, confusion and deceit. And what is it that folks desire?  At the most fundamental level, I am guessing that we desire to be free and safe. But many are not free and most are not safe.  I am not feeling too much like Jiminy right about now.   

But wait, Jiminy also says the following: 

"There's two ways to do anything.  The right way and the wrong way.  If you want to be right, do things the right way.  Because if you do things the wrong way, that's the foolish way.  And only fools do the things the foolish way, which is the wrong way - right!"  

Right!!! There is a right and a wrong way. These days everyone wants to straddle the fence.  No one wants to say what is right or wrong because that is too much like right.  It is easier to pretend to be somewhere in the middle or to claim to be neutral. Besides, no one wants to risk offending anyone.  Even if someone is wrong. Now I am starting to sound like Jiminy Cricket - right! 

When your heart is in your dreams.
No request is too extreme.

My heart is in my dreams so let me tell you what I am wishing for today:  

  • To stop elder abuse, exploitation and neglect.  
  • To provide better healthcare and housing options for seniors.
  • To raise awareness and demand a cure for dementia and Alzheimer's. 
  • To honor and protect the elderly. 
  • To celebrate aging instead of practicing ageism.  
  • To stop scams against seniors and to catch and punish those who prey on seniors. 
  • To understand the aging process. 
  • To refuse to allow seniors to live in poverty - or be homeless.  
  • To listen to seniors and allow their voices to be heard.  
  • To stop Medicare and Medicaid fraud. 
  • To protect pensions and retirements funds.  
  • To make Medicare more transparent.  
  • To ensure that seniors get the same aggressive healthcare treatment as their younger counter-parts.   
These are my requests and I know they are not too extreme.  Please stand with us and work beside us as we drive Senior Agenda.  Get involved. Volunteer.  Make a difference.  Raise your voices.  Make demands of your politicians.  Donate your time and resources.  Be watchful and helpful and trustworthy.  Do right by our seniors and elderly.  Let our conscience be our guide.  It worked for Pinocchio.