Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'd Like To Believe...


...that if I was elected to public office, my actions would always reflect the beliefs I expressed when getting elected.

I Am What I Do
Anyone that has ever faced the possibility of losing a job that they liked will probably express a similar feeling to what I've felt in the past. Here's what I mean.

When I like a job, I put a lot of myself into it. After doing that for a while, I often start confusing who I am, with what I do. Or minimally, I start to gain much of my self-esteem from the approval I get from my work.

When faced with losing such a job (which I have faced in the past), it turns into more of a crisis of self-identification and trying to redefine who I am. Add to that the potential financial crisis that my occur, and the fear of the unknown, and all the other factors around potential (or actual) job loss, and this kind of event in one's life can be significantly traumatic.

All that being said, I would hope that when public officials got into office, they would be able to divorce themselves of the identification of themselves as "an important government figure," to do their jobs with a high level of integrity and commitment to their constituents...without worrying about keeping their job, or the power and money that might go with it.

I know it's a lot to ask, but I can't see how our government will ever succeed in the long run, when self-interest is more important than the public interest.

I take the example of the recent resignation of the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, R. James Nicholson.

The state of affairs for our veterans is deplorable. We treat them worse than the detainees at Guantanamo Bay in some cases. I ask, why didn't this appointed Secretary stand up and say something about it? Why didn't he keep making a pest of himself until the right thing was done about it, or he was fired?

I can only believe that as he leaves the department of Veteran Affairs in a complete shambles, he can't have any shred of accomplishment or pride in having done nothing while the area for which he was responsible got worse and worse. Wouldn't it have been better if he had at least tried?

I'm going to start to ask my elected officials to do just that. With my leisure time, I have the ability to write personal letters to my senators, congressmen and local officials to stand up and do what we elected them to do. I can only hope others will start to do the same, and our officials will start to do their jobs...regardless of the consequences.

Current Knitting
I've done another few inches on the Aran sweater.



I thought you'd want to see it anyway. Mostly, I've been working on craft-show related items. In addition to starting four more scarves (which I'll show pictures of when they're done), I also made some crochet bowls, which I will felt, so that I can have some additional fiber-goods on my craft table to sell, other than just scarves.



The bowl in the front is already felted, to show you about what they'll look like when finished. These "bowls" aren't overly useful, but they use up leftover felt-able yarns, and folks seem to find them interesting. With an inexpensive price tag, I think I can get some sales that I might not be able to if I only have scarves.

10 comments:

Carol said...

Sweater is looking great.

Why don't you try knitting some vibrator cozies for your craft show? Or how about panties knit with licorice strings?

JoVE said...

You make some good points about elected officials and propose a sensible strategy. I am continuously amazed at how screwed up the US political system seems to be. Another blogger I read made a comment recently that despite the problems with your current health care system, he wouldn't want the government involved as long as it was so corrupt and ruled by self interest and the interests of big business. This seemed reasonable but raised the bigger issue of what Americans are doing about their political system. I guess that resonated with what you have written today.

It seems that so often the solution proposed is just to minimize what government does because they do such a bad job. But it seems that you are proposing something more positive, in that you hold out the hope that government could be better than it is now.

sean said...

your comments about intertwining identify/self-concept with a job leading to frustration when the job is at risk is a good one. it's human nature to feel a linkage with what we do. one way to get around it is to have more than one thing that one is known for.

i think it's called self-complexity. the more pots one has on the stove, the easier it is to accept that one pot has boiled over.


thanks for looking out for the veterans. i am good friends with one and the stories he tells me indicate that there is a real need for activists like you!


sean
http://adoptiongay.com
[a new blog..check it out!]

Janet said...

Joe - just to tell you that I saw the review of your blog in the August 2007 issue of Knitting magazine which I bought here in Dublin yesterday. Jean spotted it first. Good publicity.

calamity rach said...

I love the way your sweater is coming along. I can't wait to see how it ends up!

Diane said...

Government officials doing their jobs? That's just crazy talk. Currently one of my senators is off criss crossing the country trying to get the nomination to be president. He's got a snowball's chance in hell but all his time is spent doing anything but the job he already has.

Meribeth said...

You are asking people who have a taste of power, a parachute (lobbying firms, etc) built in and friends with deep pockets to return to ethics, real values, a sense of humanity and the original promises they made. I really do believe there are those with the courage to do the right thing. The others need to have their feet held to the fire...but looseing a future election is not enough. If our political system is/will be broken, it is because we allowed it to happen.

That sweater is stunning. An elgant design.

Marilyn said...

Isn't it funny how you keep the stitch markers in place, even once you know the pattern completely? I see you still have yours in place, even though I know you know exactly where each pattern begins and ends. Markers are critical at the beginning, but after a while, I think they become more like security blankets. Or traffic cones.

Kathy said...

vibrator cozies---lmao!

Seriously, though, I've always meant to make some felted bowls (wouldn't they be heavenly in Manos variegated?) but never have; I've even imagined one in my living room to hold my guitar picks and tuner....the crochet one already felted in front looks...perfect. I'll buy it, if you'll take the trouble to put it in the mail (which I would, of course, pay for). Whaddya say? And then i could also be the proud owner of a QJ original to go with my other artwork in that room!

Your Aran is looking beautiful, you amazing man.

brightblond said...

I know it's been said very many times, but I regret the loss of the older meaning of "gay". "Younger than springtime am I, gayer than laughter am I" shouldn't reduce an audience to snickers.

I try to be careful in my own language but I'm somewhat perplexed about where the fuzzy line between acceptable and not is crossed. I have a very dark sense of humor that I know to keep "at home" but why, said fair-haired person, are blond jokes okay for general use when other slurs are not?