by Robin Forman
I went to sit in the park for my lunch recently. And by park I mean the patch of green and benches called Lafayette Park that’s just in front of the White House.
I sat with my iPod and listened to the band Goldfinger whine about capitalism as I watched fat tourists and skinny eighth graders clamber up in droves to the White House fence.
Then it all started clambering up on me.
It’s coming up on the one year anniversary since I was birthed from the soft womb that is college into this hell that is the real world.
And it has happened.
I’ve lost my idealistic youthful hope for the world.
I once thought I could change the world. But I sat in the park watching those eighth graders awash with jealousy that they all probably still had hope. Even the goth kids who hate the world believe they will rise above the petty middle and high school worlds and change themselves and the world at large.
And then my eyes focused on a group of businessmen in black suits and subdued colored button downs standing in the grass. It made me think of the U.S. law firm (Morrison & Foerster) that represents China in its preparations for the Olympics. I asked a few weeks ago why China got the Olympics…it was all about money and capitalism. Who cares about their atrocious environmental and human rights violations? No ifs, ands or buts — it's just about a different kind of green.
I watched a particular group of school children with an average age of about 11. There were about 35 or 40 of them and they had been given balls to play with. They had broken off into small groups of three or five to play.
I watched one, clearly physically handicapped, girl limp from group to group, one gimp hand folded at her side, one holding a red kick ball. Every group rejected her. Even the one group of girls without a ball to play with.
I wanted to reach out to her and tell her it would get better…that someday, in the not so distant future, things would be better for her. But they won’t. In fact, it’s only going to get harder for her. When she hits adulthood there will be a myriad of jobs she won’t be able to even consider because employers will undoubtedly look at her physical disability, no matter the law. In China, that girl wouldn’t stand a chance. They probably would have killed her at birth.
And it all went down with the White House as the backdrop.
(Political graphic from StrangePolitics, a website that offers copyright-free political material.)
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by Robin Forman