POW Release, School Menus, Gun Sense, Privacy in the Home, & Remembering Maya Angelou

Five for One or One for Five 

     The first topic that had me ‘scratching my head’ a bit was the release of FIVE Guantanamo POW’s in exchange for one of our military guys; who to some is a deserter, and others a soldier to be celebrated. I have heard enough to agree with the President on one matter. If we have a soldier that we can bring back ‘home,’ then let’s do it. There is a whole lot of behind-the-scenes murmuring about the role his parents played in getting him special attention to be released. I would expect that of any parent wanting to free a child from harm’s way; however, ultimately, I hope that a court martial will determine his guilt or innocence. If he is guilty of desertion, and innocent countrymen died trying to save him, then, I would hope the penalty will reflect his guilt. Now that he is back on U.S. soil, clearly not ready for his family, only time will tell how this plays out. My question remains…why five of theirs for one of ours? Perhaps the goal is to shut down Guantanamo, which may help explain the numbers.

Schools May Be Culpable for Obese Children

     Another discussion worth noting is the continued conversations about what school children are eating on the lunch menu. Let me say, I believe the First Lady’s effort to have learners eat healthier is a noble cause. As I walk through the grocery store it saddens me to see the obese population of all ages, but more so that of children and young adults. My generation grew up on rice and beans, greens and cornbread, and meat as a side, not a main course. How simple it would be to take the fake chicken nuggets off the menu and replace it with food for the soul. How simple it would be if each classroom had a garden plot and students, teachers, and parent-volunteers to raise the vegetables they ate for lunch. Unlike today, I grew up in a time when breakfast and dinner were eaten at home. Lunch was brought from home, and usually a bologna sandwich, with chips, a pickle, a piece of fruit, and milk in a thermos. My parents prepared breakfast every morning. Even though I have rarely tolerated food before the brunch hour, and avoided breakfast on school days; I would enjoy a dozen biscuits in one sitting on weekends, if allowed. Weight was not a factor for us as children, because we were not allowed to stay inside if the weather was good to play in. The occasional overweight child stood out as to be pitied, because southern heat is brutal, even for the leanest. Some research proves out that people who have overweight children usually link some cultural attachment to extra pounds symbolizing a well-fed and cared for child; which is far from the truth in modern times. Fat children and people in general, is a symbol of too much fat food, usually obtained in the FAsT-food lane. Because I am proof that children do just fine with cut up fruit and a glass of orange juice til lunchtime, I believe the government should stop with the breakfast line in the mornings. Fruit should be made available for children as they desire, even during class hours for first-grade on, and the children should get a healthy, hot meal, primarily of grains and vegetables for lunch. I worked as a teacher decades ago, and gained significant weight my first year in the classroom. Veteran teachers warned me that eating in the cafeteria would wreak havoc on your waistline. So, hmm…might it be schools making our kids fat? 

Gun Owners Must Possess Sense

     The third bit of news that seems to be amping up relates to gun rights. I believe our constitution states that U.S. citizens have the right to bear arms. That can be a good thing if you are hunting, traveling alone, or to have as protection from intruders entering your home. For most Americans, sensible reasons to carry concealed makes sense. But, that’s where the line gets murky: sensible. It makes zero sense to walk into a major burger joint, or cramped convenience store, or big-box store with a huge rifle (or whatever) strapped across your chest. Nor, does it make sense to walk around in public, unless your job requires you to do so, with a firearm holstered onto your hip. In most cases, people using poor judgment on when and where to pack in public, makes it difficult for people who simply want a little extra protection or to use guns for sport. If you’re of  ‘sound mind’ and packing heat in the grocery store, great!; but, I don’t need to know it for general purposes. I am glad to know a person trained in firearms, has my back if I find myself in some unforeseen war zone. More than a background check, I believe anyone wanting to purchase a weapon must pass a 21-count test of emotional stability. I know it is not fool-proof; but, psychological imbalance seems to be a recurring root for the growing gun-violence in public settings. Descriptors as “quiet” and “never-seemed threatening” simply doesn’t make you okay to buy such an item that requires such grave responsibility. What does? I will leave that to a consensus team of experts. Btw, I made up the 21-count test. It doesn’t exist, yet; but, let’s say one objective for every year required to purchase.

When You Lose Right to Speak Mind in Own Home: BEWARE

     Next on the list of current events that furrowed my brow dealt with another freedom under threat. It is a civil rights of sorts. No, not the most obvious of civil rights; but one born from violating the rights of what one is allowed to say in the privacy of his or her, own home. This involves a very wealthy business owner, of a very public basketball franchise, and what he said “in the heat of the moment” inside his should-be very private home, by someone of very questionable integrity. For a few words, displaying insecurity in relationship, common to most couples when feeling demeaned, he is under threat of losing his business. Say what? It really matters little what he said. I have a little idea; but, truth is what he said had absolutely nothing to do with his integrity as the owner of the team. Presumably, as with most bosses, he had the final say on who was hired, and who was fired, blah, blah. He was responsible for how much they were paid, and that they got paid. Seriously, do you really believe the players cared what he said? Standing in solidarity, while getting paid, and still working, does not equate to walking off the team, with picket signs, boycotting their boss, with loss of income. No, you know what that would have gotten them? Fired, and replaced; not to mention, for most, banned from ever working in the NBA again. I am reminded of the words of Jesus: “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.” From the least offense you said in the privacy of your home, to the greatest, you would feel very violated and insecure if you knew it was under scrutiny to your livelihood. This is a clear case of entrapment, and everyone needs to do the opposite of what the team owner should do: Let it go!

Maya Angelou: A Montage of Womanhood

     And lastly, though far from least, is the celebration of the life of one of my most favorite people on the planet: Maya Angelou. I was an instant fan of hers after buying “The Heart of a Woman” in my 30s. I smile whenever I hear in my mind’s ear her recitation of "Phenomenal Woman" and "I Rise". She lived what one could call a “full life.” Most people die with their seeds in their hand, never planting the talents given them at birth. She will be always fondly remembered in my spirit. I have asked my talented artist-daughter to paint a portrait of her for my upcoming birthday to hang as a reminder of her encouraging vibrancy; when the people in my life seem to frown on my effort to be a free-spirit. As a writer, I will glean from her smile the hope one needs to stay true to God and self; not always an easy task. When I receive the gift, I will place a link to share. I know there are many portraits of her in circulation; but, for such a special person, I want my own original; as a reminder that somewhere in the universe, closer than most believe, she lives on.

That’s it; week one completed. With consistency, I will have at least 52 entries per year. Admittedly, my blogging consistency has been on the back-burner for a while. Real life, under the category of needing and desiring a real-paying job has hindered time spent offering the unsolicited opinions of Mytu Sense. But, of late, in spite of the need to conquer student-loan debt (a conversation upcoming); my yen to share my voice has been rising to the top. Starting today, my goal is to post a weekly blog highlighting my thoughts on five current events, with a deadline of 5 a.m. Monday.