Change behaviors, change the planet
I’m reading “Climate Church, Climate World” by Jim Antal.
The book gives examples of how thinking has changed to the positive by people gathering together, using their voices and strengths to change situations.
Of course, his goal is to change minds and actions related to climate change, but examples include slavery, voting rights and attitudes towards gays.
I mention this book because China is having a plastic-container problem now that its population is ordering so much home-delivered food.
Ads here encourage Americans to follow China’s example.
Recently, FedEx said it needs to deliver products seven days a week year-round to keep up with the demands by Americans for stuff. This ordering leads to unanswered questions. Where do we put the plastic containers when we are finished with them? What are we doing with our lives that we can’t leave the house to go shopping? What happens to the stuff at the end of our lives?
As we are pushed to be less active and less reliant on our humanness, and more reliant on Siri and the ilk, we need to ask ourselves who we are as a people.
Are we being pushed to become a nation of hoarders supporting our national economy? Or are we the creative and energetic Americans who built things and acted with independence? It’s sad that people speak of binge watching certain shows as if it was a great accomplishment — probably while eating food they ordered in plastic containers.
This does hurt our Earth.
St. Mary’s shows how much it cares
As we approach the end of the school year, I want to personally thank the teachers and the principal at our Catholic School, St. Mary’s Ballston Spa. I can personally recount many instances when the teachers showed kindness to my daughter when she needed it.
One night, I dropped her off at the Kids’ Night Out School Halloween party, and upon not seeing her friends right away, my daughter stayed by the front door, hesitant to enter the school.
Our principal, Mrs. Fitzgerald, didn’t skip a beat. She came right over to my daughter, complimented her on her costume and led her to where her second-grade classmates were waiting. It’s these little acts of kindness from the educators that show parents that they genuinely care.
Now in third grade, my daughter likes to doodle and write notes on her classwork. Sometimes discouraged with the math, she’ll write in the margin “This is hard!” Her third-grade teacher, Mrs. Eddy, will take the time to jot back an encouraging note such as “Why? You’re doing great!”
My family feels truly blessed to send our children to St. Mary’s School in Ballston Spa. I would encourage all parents to give St. Mary’s a call to schedule a tour.
The dream of having a child who wakes up on a Monday morning excited to go to school isn’t a dream at all. It’s a reality for us at St. Mary’s.
Support women in the workplace
April 2 symbolized the date that all women must work into 2019 to make the equivalent of what men earned last year.
But today, June 10, is the day working mothers in particular must work to catch up to working fathers. That is 11 days later than it was in 2018 (May 30). Moms lost pay equity ground this year.
This matters because more than 70 percent of moms with young children are working, meaning their earnings are critical to their families’ financial security. Equal pay is not a gender issue; it is a family success issue.
As a longtime volunteer with the Junior Leagues of New York State Public Affairs Committee and a working mom, I encourage everyone to contact their state legislators to respectfully request they work to develop policies and pass strong workplace laws that recognize the dynamics of the modern family by supporting working women.
Indeed, with session in Albany winding down, ask them not to go home at the end of the month without moving on a host of pay equity bills, including the state salary history ban.
Denise Murphy McGraw
The writer is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties.
To save planet, take action, dump Trump
I’m writing to ask Americans to wake up and save our country and planet. To do this, you need to vote President Trump out of office.
This administration is gutting our Environmental Protection Agency and refusing to acknowledge climate change is real.
Their plan is to manipulate the data models so the EPA will no longer track the future impact of global warming after 2040. Looking out only 20 years will predict a much brighter future, but that will ignore the increasing effects of climate change.
Perhaps you will shuffle off this mortal coil before then and you don’t care. Well I say shame on you. I have read all these letters purporting to be pro-life, or pro-business, or pro-economy.
The greatest positive impact you can have with all those agendas is to support every effort to confront and help develop solutions to climate change. How? Just do a Google search for every-day things you can do. Or call one of the many non-profit groups devoted to saving our environment.
And most importantly, vote this president out of office.
Tom Brokaw coined the phrase, America’s “Greatest Generation,” those who survived the Great Depression and served in World War II. With apologies to the environmental activists out there, when history is recorded, the current crop of adults might be called the “Greediest Generation.” Climate change is not brain surgery; it’s science. You do not get to make up your own facts. I implore everyone to do something. The work will be hard, but if you truly believe America is great, we can do it.
Advocate for policy for the ‘whole child’
The June 3 “Area school districts warned about racially disparate suspension rates” Daily Gazette article is an excellent indication for parents and concerned adults to continue advocacy of the state Board of Regents’ ‘whole child’ social and emotional education policy.
The state government has established laws, Education Law Article 17, authorizing the Board of Regents, the education commissioner, school boards, administrators, faculty and residents to establish a curriculum of social and emotional health education and supportive services.
School boards’ code of conduct include disciplinary measures involving suspension from school, but implementation of ‘whole child’ guidance services during this punishment period of education is neglected.
Social worker counseling with the individual to address the social and emotional problems can enhance development of the ‘whole child.’
As we know, adult white nationalists and drug-dealing bullies point out by their behavior their lack of social and emotional development and lack of comprehension of love thy neighbor as thyself.
The immense responsibility for educators, parents and residents to embrace the ‘whole child’ guidance policy with enhanced social and emotional learning services for youth and adults requires consideration.
Advocacy for expansion of school districts and municipal partnership to improve their county shared-services plan could improve public health and behavioral services for adults and youth.
The consolidated funding application process of the regional economic development councils can access funds to enhance 21st Century Community Learning Center services in our communities.
Change behaviors, change the planet