Our Responsibilities as a People

ELPS710 Gathering Storm Reading Response

            I absolutely agree with the commissions’ findings that the United States needs to invest in education to ensure its continued prominence on the world stage.  I also particularly embraced the comment that individual families have to do their part as well.  This speaks to the essence of a democracy.  We have freedoms and opportunities, but we also have responsibilities as citizens to contribute to the greater good if we can do so.  It is a joy to be able to live life that way (contributing – hopefully!) and to be amongst peers (in our program and professionally) committed to doing the same.

            The problem with the commissions’ recommendations is producing the political will to enact them.  Especially in these difficult times, short-term thinking takes precedence over long-term investment, such as education.  I enjoyed the comparisons with other investments made by generations gone by; the interstate highway system is one good example.  And this reading did a good job of connecting those investments to our national prosperity.  It causes one to reflect on our overall integrity and moral compass as a people compared to years gone by.  We are borrowing, not investing.  And we did so even during recent prosperous times.

            Unfortunately, as bad economic times continue, education is not being considered for additional resources – quite the opposite.  We wasted good times in the late nineties, and again just a few years ago – opportunities to invest in our future were squandered for short-term political gain.  For sure, there is no chance to change that at this time, but perhaps as a nation we will see the need upon entering our next economic upturn.  Perhaps the public will take a greater role in pressuring those in power to change the priorities for the long-term benefit of our nation.