A Parent’s New Year’s Resolutions For 2011

At the start of the New Year, it’s traditional for people to make sweeping statements about how they plan to improve themselves or their situation in the coming year.  I could certainly do that — I definitely need to lose weight, I’d like to yell at the kids a little less, I really ought to work more on getting my book published — but that would only benefit me or, at most, my family.  So I thought I’d take a look at the big picture and come up with some resolutions that will help kids all over.

So with that in mind, here is A Parent’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2011:

Marriage Equality — sure, it’s not the kids getting married, but for every child who gets the very wrong impression that his family isn’t quite as good as other families because his parents aren’t allowed to marry, I resolve that that injustice will change in 2011 so that every couple, every family that loves each other can get married and enjoy the rights, the benefits, and the social status that marriage provides.

Fully Funded Schools — It is truly a sad commentary on our values and our society that when times are tough, economically, education is one of the first areas to be cut.  I resolve that every school be given adequate funding first and foremost, that every school be updated with superior technology for teaching, and that those to whom we entrust the shape of our future be compensated commensurately, both financially and emotionally.

Access to Parents — As it stands, not every parent, current or prospective, has the same legal rights as every other parent.  I resolve that every competent adult who has the desire to be a parent to a child should have the right to do so, including access to fertility, surrogacy, and adoption services as well as the same legal rights as any other parent once they do have a child to care for.

Healthcare for All — In what is supposedly one of the most advanced nations on the planet, children still suffer unnecessarily because of inadequate medical care.  I resolve that no parent should ever have to decide whether or not to take their child to the doctor because of financial reasons and that no family should ever have to face financial hardship due to medical expenses.  And because children need their parents, so too should adults receive the care they need.

Safety in Church — That anyone would hurt a child is staggering.  That someone who would claim to be a community’s source of moral guidance would do so is loathsome as well.  I resolve that not one more child should suffer abuse at the hands of a priest or minister and that clergy and other church officials who have wronged children in the past or who covered for those who did will face justice and punishment, both by incarceration and by financial restitution.

An End to Bullying
— Bullying is not, as some claim, a natural and necessary part of growing up; it is cruelty and injustice and is far too common.  It has resulted in too many deaths and too many lives destroyed when those lives should have been nurtured and nourished.  I resolve that no more will children live in fear at school or on the playground and that no child shall suffer intimidation and abuse from their peers, their teachers, or their community.

Adequate Employment — Childhood is a time for learning and growing, not for worrying or working but too many children have had to deal with their parents’ extended unemployment as the ultra-rich worked to strip what little wealth they didn’t already have from the rest of us.  I resolve that, in 2011, everyone who wants or needs a job will get one, one that will allow them to survive and thrive and, most especially, give their children a better life.

This is what I’ll be working on in the coming year.  My goals, my plans, my … resolutions.  Perhaps you’ll make some of them your resolutions as well; if enough people do, maybe we can really make a difference.

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