A tribute to the 99ers: We are not invisible.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Remaining optimistic.

If you watch network news daily you are informed when these Jewish holidays occur: Rosh HashanaYom Kippur, Chanukah and Passover. The anchor starts with "Today at sunset Jews around the world begin celebrating (insert name of holiday). This holiday commemorates (what the holiday commemorates in 1 sentence)." There are other Jewish holidays of significance, but they don't make the news.

Rosh Hashana begins a 10 day period of intense introspection which concludes with Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement". A mere 4 days (Wednesday night) from the end of Yom Kippur the holiday of Succot begins, followed a week later by the holiday of Shemini Atzeret. Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur is marked by somber themes: Introspection, apology, forgiveness and atonement. According to strict traditional interpretation failing to successfully reach atonement could lead to premature death of the individual and collectively the destruction of the world.  Succot (a mere four days from Yom Kippur) and Shemini Atzeret are marked by a theme of unrestrained joy. Given that the reward a "successful" Yom Kippur is to earn a another year of  (successful) existence a joyful celebration so close seems extraordinarily presumptive.  Yet  as a Jew, I know this happens every year. How can anyone, let alone an entire people make this assumption? The answer is faith.

Faith is not limited to belief in a beneficent divinity. For me faith also includes a positive attitude: the understanding that everything  I have done stands on it's own but also serves as a building block to a successful ultimate outcome.  I will achieve what I desire because I have engaged in the proper activities to earn a favorable outcome.

I feel this way about being a 99er. My period of intense self review began September 22 (yesterday) with the fax rally organized by the American 99ers Union. The "One Nation Working Together" DC rally On October 2 will end this period of soul searching combined with activity. Along the way I have called elected officials and will continue calling. I have supported other rallies. These rallies were notable but also serve as a precursor to DC Rally at the Lincoln Memorial. Finally, after many months the unemployed advocacy groups have come together under a single umbrella. I believe in a positive outcome, for me and over 2 million 99ers.

There are many reasons to be negative.  Tiers 2, 3 and 4 are not funded beyond November 30.  Tier V discussion will be delayed until previous Tiers are addressed. Nothing regarding extended unemployment benefits or aggressive job creation is currently on the legislative schedule. Congress will recess in early October to campaign for reelection. Most importantly, some 99ers have gone without benefits since March. Too many have already lost so much, when resolution arrives it will not help. But negativity or anger induced indifference will not solve all that is wrong. So I return to my tradition and find reasons to be positive and continue to affect change where ever I can.

Do you continue to remain positive or are you tired of being ignored as a 99er? Any ideas on how to move things along?

No comments:

Post a Comment