I listened to Hillary Clinton (#HillaryClinton) and Nancy Pelosi (#NancyPelosi) chat and praise each other on Secretary Clinton’s podcast, You and Me Both which aired January 18, 2021, (#youandmeboth). Both women are achievers, icons and elderly. Secretary Clinton will be 74 this year and Nancy Pelosi turns 81. (This is not a political statement, just a statement of fact.) However, Ms. Pelosi lost points when she stated, “The three most important issues facing our country are our children, our children, our children.” She goes on to state that it is their health, education and economic environment that is crucial. Now I know why our Elders have the short end of the stick.
Children are the future and deserve good health, education and an economic environment in which they can thrive. However, the Elders who came before are no less deserving, after all, children stand on their shoulders. We have myriads of examples of children born into poverty who, because of talent, hard work, and supportive loved ones, have come out on top. I’ve written in prior columns how parents who lived in poverty made sure their children were educated and fed, often by holding simultaneous menial jobs to support them. It’s only logical that as age creeps up and issues arise, they are treated with dignity and respect for their contribution to the world – “our children”.
Everywhere I look people are worried about the socialization children are missing by online learning. The policy wonks also discuss how many of them have left the education system. Nowhere have I seen a study that opines on how many of our elders have died from failure to thrive during this pandemic. We locked them down and unless there was access to FaceTime or another video application, they were left with meals in their rooms and a television for company. We have spoken ad nauseum about how the Latin and Black children were disenfranchised. Guess what, so were their grandparents . . . some of who are raising these children. And let me add one more truth, THEY WERE DISENFRANCHISED BEFORE THE PANDEMIC… as were most of the children leaving online learning.
So, Madame Secretary and Madame Speaker, get a grip! Children are one of three vulnerable communities within our sphere, the other two are the disabled and our seniors. And, as we all know, this population overlaps. So, to paraphrase Ms. Clinton’s book, it takes a village to raise a child, but that same village owes its disabled the best quality of life, and its Elders reverence and respect. (#ItTakesAVillage). Is a rewrite in order?