Friday, May 11, 2012

Simple Concepts in an Overly Complicated World

I am not overly fond of talking on the touchy subjects like politics, religion, education, etc.  The reason for this is not that I don't have an opinion,  I assure you, I do.  The problem is,  I will debate an issue to the end of time if I have knowledge of the subject, and unfortunately the few times I have spoken up, it has cost me friends (and in one case a few family members).  I tend to not speak on things of which I have no information.  And I do that because I do not like to look the fool,  which is exactly what happens when one spits out whatever they want to win the day.  And, as one of my very good and extremely logical friends recently said, the art of a good debate is dying a painful death.  Name-calling used as smoke and mirrors is commonplace in any argument these days.

All that aside,  I have some thoughts.

I am not Christian.  I honestly couldn't tell you what I am.  I feel that the religious texts of the world (the Christian bible,  the Koran, the Torah, and so on) are not word for word true,  but more along the lines of Aesop's Fables; meant for guidance, not strict rules by which all should be judged.  I have wonderful friends who believe in God and put their faith in Him and I am happy that it makes them happy.  I also know that these same friends would feel the same for me.  As long as I'm happy, they're happy.  What I dislike are those that would hide their personal fears and hatred behind their religion.

Marriage. What a highly debated concept.  For me, it is incredibly simple.  You wanna be married?  Go right ahead.  Doesn't matter who you are.  Get married.  Two consenting adults should be allowed to get married.  No one's business but their own.  You know who stands to lose by letting anyone and everyone getting married to whomever they want? Insurance companies. Maybe.  Quiet a few will now allow you to claim a partner,  married or not.  Other than that,  no one gets hurt.  And if by some chance this good and caring God is actually offended by the thought of two men or two women getting married,  He'll handle it.  Not our job to regulate it.

Women's health choices.  Simple.  It's HER choice.  We are one appallingly small step away from Margaret Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale".  If you have not read it,  I recommend that you do.  Might give you an insight into the future of women's rights in the United States. Which scares the hell out of me.

College and Financial Aid.

First, a little history.  I do not have a degree.  It was my choice not to attend college directly after high school because I just knew that I would not go the distance.  A couple of years later,  I was accepted to University of New Orleans.  I even went to orientation.  However,  when I got home and did the FASFA application,  I was still young enough that my Mother's income counted and thus,  I qualified for nothing.  So,  I didn't go.  About a year after that,  I was old enough to be counted on my own and enrolled at ITT,  only discover after one semester that ITT is kind of a joke. (I literally missed half of my classes and still had a 4.0)  I did not return to ITT.   I still feel to this day that college is a bit of a racket.  Tuition prices are ridiculous, and the requirement credits to many degrees are needlessly packed with electives. Financial Aid is a bit of a joke, since they base your qualifications and need on previous year's taxes,  not a real time assessment of your family income (i.e. I was employed last year,  but currently I am not and without a degree it is unlikely I will be in the near future)  It all leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

That being said,  I'm being a total hypocrite and have applied to an online university.  I do this because even though I have over a decade of work experience, employers don't care.  They want to see a college degree on my resume.  They don't even care what it's in.  To me,  this is requiring college for all the wrong reasons.  One should go to college in search of higher learning.  College should produce doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers and true scholars; not masses of call center customer service reps only getting paid a few dollars an hour more than minimum wage.    If that's what we're turning college into,  might as well make it as required as high school.  You can attend a public college for no more than book rental fees or you can pay for a private one,  just like all the other levels of education.  But then we get into the mental ramifications of forcing people to remain students until 22 years old.  Though some might argue that the maturity level of an 18 year old ten years ago is likely the equivalent level of a 22 year old today.

So to review:
Marriage - Should be fair game for all
Women's Health - No one's business but her own
College and Financial Aid - Make it as available as public school since it is apparently becoming required for everyone.

Simple, right?

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