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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/25/09

What are You Giving up?

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Message Margaret Bassett
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If  you are aware of some Christian customs--Catholics lead the way, with other denominations to a lesser extent--you know today is Ash Wednesday.  In the old days, eating no (or little) meat was something to forsake as the 40 days of Lent was celebrated--a time to "get right" with what Jesus Christ taught.
Today Deborah Emin, a sister OEN editor, sent me a note saying she was on her way to Cedar Rapids--a place where she has connections and where she is interested in its rebuilding after the flood all but wiped out the downtown.

I have no idea where her "spiritual home" is, but I know her heart is in the right place.  She once described to me how her church changed its flower garden over to vegetables in order to feed those in  Brooklyn who could use the food.  We see plenty of articles about such activity since the meltdown, but this was well before anyone knew we were in a "deep recession."

This morning Deborah wrote that she was touched by the president's speech last night--of the town in Kansas which was practically wiped out by a tornado and how its citizens banded together and rebuilt.  How can Cedar Rapids do the same?   She said they must have better communication, pull together, and get  back to helping each other.  

I know Cedar Rapids as a big city with manufacturing, a city where the main trains stopped.  When I was in college during World War II, I often had to change trains to take an inter-urban to Iowa City. 
(Years ago, I went with a Venezuelan engineer as an interpreter as he observed the water treatment plant there--most likely the one the flood destroyed.) Maybe, even before the floods, Cedar Rapids had lost some of its enterprising ways.  Industrial cities in other parts of the nation are hurting.  We spend so much time on political web pages discussing such.

What Deborah is doing--trying to help turn a community of people in need of infrastructure repair into a can-do group of activators--is progressive.

Progressivism, folks!  I grew up in rural/agrarian times with so many needs.  Still, we knew that working together was the only way to survive a depression, a drought, and so many doubts.  If there was smoke coming from miles away, we knew that someone's pasture might be on fire.  We loaded milkcans of water and gunny sacks and drove as fast as we could to help put out the fire.  (Too much fire and too much water have always been a challenge to civilized society.)
What is this little essay about? And what isn't it?  

It isn't an appeal for "aid to CR."  Keep  your money because you may need it before this "tsunami" is over.  Curiously, we think of no money coming our way as a flood.  We could just as easily think of it as a fire, engulfing our very way of life--leaving us high and dry.
What this essay IS about is "spinning wheels."  Don't spin them only to  dig de
eper into sand or mud.  To those who read, write, or simply comment on OpEdNews--please remember actions speak louder than words.  Since our reach is worldwide we cannot "fix" all the injustices and needs of humanity.  We can just help someone somewhere.  

Do me a favor.  I ask  you this as an editor.  If you have NEWS, something others may not have read about, continue to send it as an article.  If you have news where your experience allows you to make further analysis, send that as an OpEd article. If you only have a passionate feeling on an issue,  make a diary.  It doesn't have to wait for an editor to release it for publication.  
Now, I'll get back to work.  I'll  take my own advice: Actions Speak Louder  than Words.
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Margaret Bassett passed away August 21, 2011. She was a treasured member of the editorial team for four years.

Margaret Bassett--OEN editor--is an 89-year old, currently living in senior housing, with a lifelong interest in political philosophy. Bachelors from State University of Iowa (1944) and Masters from Roosevelt University (1975) help to unravel important requirements for modern communication. Early introduction to computer science (1966) trumps them. It's payback time. She's been "entitled" so long she hopes to find some good coming off the keyboard into the lives of those who come after her.
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