Posts Tagged ‘youth’


Today is the day. The day when our youth march in protest against gun violence and lax gun laws. They are marching for their lives. They are marching for the lives of future generations. They are marching for us. Yes. They are marching for me and for you. They are marching for anyone that could get caught up in gun violence…in schools, at the shopping mall, at the theater, everywhere.

It is not just a kids’ march. It’s a march for all of us. Yes, it was organized by kids in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting that took seventeen lives but it is a march for us all. We have to have their back. We adults have to have their back. They can make a difference and watching coverage from one city to another it is clear that these kids are angry. They want change. They are ready to march and to speak out and to fight for a change. And we have to have their back. We have to support them. We have failed them and it is our turn to stand up and support them.

Here in Portland, as I write, the march is underway. The numbers are huge. Police are baffled. They didn’t know what to expect as far as numbers and they still can’t make a good estimate. They know that there are approximately 12,000 in the vicinity of Court House Square but there are many more still marching toward the area where speeches will be made. There are miles of marchers approaching. The marchers are all ages. There are people of all generations, adults and teens and children.

And it is peaceful. Peace. What a concept.

It is also vocal. And it is important to note that politicians are watching and listening. These marchers are mostly either of voting age or are approaching voting age within a very few years. Politicians need to listen because these kids are not going any place but to the voting booths across the country in elections in local cities, and in states and in our nation.

We need to have their backs. If you can’t go out and march that’s okay. You can still support them. You can write about it. You can talk about it. You can tweet. You can contact your local representatives. Keep it going. They are marching for me and for you. Don’t forget that.

#March for our lives.

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I’ve been watching TV because I’ve been too sleep deprived to concentrate on much. When I watch TV, for the most part, I put on something just for background company, not to really watch it. However, there are some shows that I will watch over and over again…entire seasons…entire series. I think I have seen every episode of NYPD Blue at least ten times (12 seasons); The West Wing (7 seasons) I have watched every episode at least five times; The Gilmore Girls I have seen at least twelve times, some episodes more than that because I caught them on TV, not streaming.

This past week I started streaming Parenthood. I really like the show. I think a lot of the acting is overdone but the story lines are solid. The music is a bonus. This time I really watched the show, not just had it on in the background. Although I’ve always loved the theme song (it was very popular in my college years so it reminds me of good times), Forever Young by Bob Dylan, I never paid attention to the lyrics. This week a few popped out at me so I went looking for the lyrics. They like a prayer a wish; like an Irish prayer (to me anyway). I thought I would share them with you. I’m not linking to the video because I couldn’t find a good one with no ads but if you search for “Forever Young Bob Dylan” you’ll find it. Here are the lyrics:


May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Copyright © 1973 by Ram’s Horn Music; renewed 2001 by Ram’s Horn Music


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Shock Value?

While going through things in my “de-clutter mode”  I came across a small blank notebook that I didn’t really recognize.  I opened it to find it mostly blank.  The first two pages had some writing on them and the last page had some addresses and phone numbers.  Upon seeing these pages, I realized it was the notebook I brought with me when I came up to Portland from California to look for a place to move to.  I found the two pages of writing interesting and I remember the puzzling incident quite well.  In fact, every time I drive by that McDonalds, I think of the incident.  Here is the writing:

I was sitting down, having coffee at a McDonald’s near the freeway on ramp, waiting for an important phone call before getting on the freeway and heading back to California.  I had the “opportunity” to observe several groups of teenagers, each one noisier than the last as they came in, sat down and interacted with one another.

I noted how every word out of their mouth was intended to shock and shock loudly.  They didn’t care that there were elderly people or little kids in earshot.  They just cared that they were noticed. Within ten minutes of arriving, they settled down.  They had disturbed, interrupted, annoyed, and shocked sufficiently.  Then the next group would come in and the process would repeat.

I thought back and couldn’t think of a time when I acted like this or when I had seen other groups of teens do this.  It made me wonder why they do this.  Is it a sign of the times?  Is it a sign of affluence and a sense of entitlement?  Never had I seen anything like it, any place.  

I don’t know.  It just made me sad to be sitting in the same space with such a show of  self-centeredness and disrespect.

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