Friday, May 10, 2013

Age, Social Security And AP

So lengthy the list, so many concerns that the world
holds to worry over...
The massive (and unexplained) right whale die off.
Perhaps only 500 remain.
(perhaps if we'd not allowed them to be whaled into near non-existence
as a society of humans they'd not now be imperiled)

An article published eight hours ago by AP exclaiming Social Security
and Medicare are quote: 'shifiting money from younger generations to older ones'
Perhaps it should be mentioned in the article just how many thousands of
dollars each working adult was obliged to pay into these programs
And now, much like a deposit bank account seek only to access those funds.
Not to live as royalty.
But to live modestly.
To avoid eating cat food
(did you know elders are one of the higher poverty groups)?
I wish the article would have mentioned that a large (and larger) portion
of each elders' Social Security payments are
dedicated to paying numerous taxes.

*school taxes (benefiting the young not the old)
*taxes for WIC and CHP (benefiting the young, not the old)
Monies that were deducted (from every single lifelong paycheck)
returned via Soc Sec payments pay county taxes and state taxes
for roadways, snow clearing, improvements
libraries, fire and police
Services that benefit young and older adults.
Some that benefit younger adults more.
Road use for example as non-retirees are on the roads more than retired adults.
Much of what Soc Sec payees continue to support with their small checks
assist young adults, building their lives, heading to work
shaping and living their lives as those, now older, did.
I deeply wish AP would have mentioned that those
who have reached the milestone of Soc Sec and Medicare
are simply (as promised) accessing  those funds
  demanded of them from a lifetime of paychecks.
The fact this current retiring generation is large means that
there is more need. It also means there was (for decade upon decade)
more taken in, gathered, collected, stockpiled than any other generation.
The math should work. We, the graying, had no control over how
the funds were managed, handled, invested, borrowed or otherwise controlled.

Getting older, being older, should not be a cause for blame.
We, inching our way closer to retirement who have done as demanded
paid and paid and paid. With the agreement it would be there for us at a
predetermined age. It shocks and wearies me to find AP (or any group)
pointing to the aging as the villains, harming the younger, by now being old.
Easy tho we are to 'blame'
These are the mornings, the days when I gather my camera and my thoughts
and walk among the trees and fields. The sprouting crops, the nesting birds.
The blooms.
No accusations are called out. The young animals move more quickly than the old.
Young mother cows, goats and birds feed their young. The older graze, looking on
now in a different phase of life.
Neither thinks itself better or worse, more or less of value.
They contentedly co-exist.

I love these acres, this farm, these truths.
The cycles of life are understood here.
No anger. 
Just each life taking its turn.
Every living thing grows older
Grows old
Grows weaker
Needs a bit of help
In animal nature, the younger of the herd, doesn't begrudge
the elders their share of green spring grass
or their spot in the shade of the trees in July.
Nor their place in the barn in the winter.
The elders don't blame the young that they will die
or become freezer food for winter. Or food bartered for firewood or
a tractor repair or seed or manure
for next spring.
How tragic it will be if that can not be said of humans. If the young and old do not each support the place in life that we both currently occupy without resentment.
In Patagonia they suspect that one of the reasons the right wales are dying
is because recently the gulls have taken to pecking (and consuming) the backs
of the right whales (adults and calves) when they rise for air.
There is no known reason the gulls do so. It's a new behavior.
There is enough food, enough space for the whales and the gulls according to
the marine biologists who study this cruel new gull behavior.

There is a proposition to kill the gulls
to save the right whale mothers and calves.
I worry. I hope.
For the right whales.
For the gulls.
For all ages of humans.
Right whales rise to breath air.
Gulls scavenge.
 Humans live a full life and grow older every day.
With luck we all do what nature intends and live a full life.
We're all part of the intertwined cycle.
Part of the circle.
None escape age.
I wish AP, journalists, communities, humans in general
would talk of and write about the entire journey of life.
Of compassion. Of seeking solutions rather than pitting
gulls against whales, young against old(er).

If only there were discussions regarding the full and entire truth.
Elder social support is essential because everyone is (eventually)
going to be older and move slower. Sleep more. See and hear less clearly.
Hope (and need) to step away from work
 (opening up a job for someone younger). 

There is a quote that says we are only as good, as worthwhile
as we treat animals, those in need, those weak, those young and helpless,
sick and infirm. To that I would add also, those of age.
Advanced age is a doorway each of you reading has walked thru
or is heading towards...
There is no sidestepping it.

Points to  ponder as we have the opportunity to influence
our government, our representatives.
Points to ponder as choices and votes on Soc Security and Medicare
are put forward. Decisions made now that will touch each of us.
Now I'm heading out with my camera to take some pictures
and find some peace.
Thanks for reading....


TheCrankyCrow said...

Very insightful and articulate my dear friend....but I would expect nothing less from you. So many truths in your words and sentiments. I have thought more of aging in the past 5 years or so than ever before - and I watch and follow my mother on her journey. It is sad and pitiful that someone who has worked so hard for so long can no longer enjoy the fruits she so labored for....I could - but won't - go on with my rants - but it gives me hope that there are other like-minded ones still among us. Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Tami said...

Well said. Most times I don't get too riled up about articles like that anymore. Most articles are all blather anyway. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

Although my Mom (73) often thanks me for all my years of hard work contributing to her SS @;)

gracie said...

Thank you for starting my day (today) with a well written article.

BumbleBeeLane said...

Look at you trying to get me up on the old soap written sweet friend!~Amy