Little Friend

Dyada, park go
Says my little friend

Dyada, big truck up
Says my little friend

Dyada, I want ants house looking
Says my little friend

We walk to the park
and along the way

My little friend stops to show me ants
letting go of my hand

And then taking my hand, we walk

My little friend finds mushrooms
letting go of my hand, he shows me
he counts them

Dyada, more mushrooms
Says my little friend
He takes my hand
We walk on

Dyada, butterfly
Says my little friend
letting go of my hand
He squats down to look

Dyada, flying away butterfly
Says my little friend
He takes my hand
We walk on

Dyada, I want swinging
Says my little friend

I give my little friend a push
We count to three

Dyada, sit down
Says my little friend
I swing with my little friend

Dyada, more swing push
Says my little friend
And I push

Time to go home
I say to my little friend

And as we walk
he takes my hand

Dyada, more park after sleep
Says my little friend

Yes, I say
to my little friend


Gender Equality?

I posted this on FaceBook, and it is one of the few posting I have made on a relatively controversial topic for which I received absolutely no responses in the first twelve hours.  Too touchy a subject?  Was I too adamant?  Am I just plain offensively wrong?  I have no clue...  But I figured that it was worth posting here regardless of the reason.  Whatever the reason, it must have struck some nerves or scared some folks off.... that makes is worth the effort!

Social Opinion on Gender "Equality": Some may find this offensive. Tough stuff! Ignore if so inclined.

This is an interesting list of responses to another article entitled "How to Raise a Feminist Son" found here -> https://www.nytimes.com/…/upshot/how-to-raise-a-feminist-so…

Let me be blunt: 
Men <> Women (To be clear, that is "not equal").
Boy <> Girls

The whole concept of gender equality is stupid. Men and Women, Boys and Girls are 'equivalent', not equal. The first step in solving a problem in a group is to come up with reasonable definitions of what the problem is. The word 'equal' simply does not fit. It means the same. I don't know about y'all, but I am not the same as my Wife, nor was my Mother the same as my Father, etc... ad nauseum.
It is time we taught our kids(and ourselves) the difference between 'Equal' and 'Equivalent', and started applying that terminology to our attitudes toward gender. We need to apply that concept not just in the area of gender, but in the area of humans in general. 

I <> You! We are different! And yes, there are rules which vary depending on which 'equivalence' we are facing. That is hard to teach to kids, or anyone for that matter. But without some rules, some standards, we end up with a bunch of navel gazing like we have now.

It seems to me that we need to (re)teach ourselves to recognize 'consideration' in a multi-faceted way. It is just as valid for me to hold the door for another human being who is loaded down with bags of groceries as it is to hold the door for a woman who is simply going through the same door as I. I do the same thing for different reasons, and both are valid. It is just as valid for me to advocate for women in combat(assuming they meet standards that ensure they are not a danger to themselves and their mates - just like males have to meet those standards) as it is to demand equal pay for equal work(note the word equal there) for all humans who do the work.

These distinctions are what we need to get back to. It is not about being equal. Equal is boring! It is about understanding that equivalence is a multifaceted set of 'equals' and 'non-equals' that apply to all human beings.

We invited readers to share their stories of raising boys to believe in the full equality of men and women. Here is a selection, with responses from experts in the field.


Poverty - A State of Mind

Original Article Here  (New York Times - Upshot)

Carson is both right and wrong here. And the Times misses an important point as far as I am concerned.
According to the article, we have more poverty in this nation than there is in any other developed nation. I don't doubt that. The question is why.

One possibility is that of the perceived lack of opportunity or a level playing field. A level playing field is really a myth anyway, but the perception that it is at least gently sloped as compared to a sheer rock face that must be climbed is important.
While the article cites studies done on children who have or have not climbed out of poverty to the middle class or beyond, it seems to me that one of the factors left out is this perception of 'it is possible'. Whether that perception is based empirical evidence or anecdotal data, it is very important that two things exist in that perception:
1) That there is a way to 'climb the ladder' without someone actively trying to dislodge the climber.
2) That the goal is worth achieving.
That second one is I think is as important as the first. Why should I bust my ass to get out of poverty and off welfare if the general economy is such that when I reach the middle class, it is not going to benefit me much more than when I was in poverty? Now days, it is not even stable! We have plenty of proof of that from the 2008 melt-down and it's subsequent devastation wreaked upon home-owners, retirees retirement accounts, and job losses which have led to folks who used to have steady jobs now working two or three low paying jobs with no benefits, just to pay the basic bills.
Then there is the debt picture: Why would I bust my ass to save for my kids college education, pay my own education loans, save for my retirement, buy and pay for a house when all of it can disappear in a heartbeat if my job goes away, or I get hurt? Oh yeah, all the while my spouse is busting ass to pay for their educational loans and make enough to "do those extras". Needless to say, we have limited time to spend with our 2.5 children who on average spend 5 hours a day yammering on facebook or tweeting like the President does.
Yeah, I am going to get right out there, dive in, and bust my ass to bootstrap myself up for that kind of risk...?
So given that gloomy outlook for what I might achieve by bettering myself, what is my compelling reason for getting off welfare and climbing out of poverty? Whether or not that gloomy outlook is accurate or not, that is the perception that I think many have, and that is a big problem.
And if you wonder why we have had populists getting all the attention and winning elections the last four presidential elections, I think at least part of the answer is in what I am postulating here. Perception....
Ben Carson is not all wrong, but he is a long way from right....