Letter: WVWC house fiasco a missed opportunity

Dear Editor:

The other day I was driving by the new house that the Wesleyan college president lives in and had a thought. You know the house I mean, the one on the old Dairy Road that they bought for the new president while they were determining what 20-some people to let go from the college because they had financial problems.

Anyway, I looked at that house and I thought about how they had let those people go from their jobs and thought that they really missed a great teaching moment right there. Isn’t that what institutions of higher education are supposed to be doing, teaching? It seems like it would’ve been a perfect time to teach these young people who will be tomorrow’s leaders how to be compassionate when making difficult decisions.

Instead they sent the message that it’s OK to be ruthless and thoughtless when you’re dealing with money and business. And the thought came to me after that, that this is the way the world is now turning. It’s all about money and making more money and taking care of business regardless of the human toll. And it doesn’t matter how many times you vote or even if you vote if you don’t have enough money to buy a senator or congressman or delegate or state senator or governor then you’re not going to be heard in government when it comes to making decisions about your needs. Because obviously money talks.

And because money talks, then that is perhaps the one place where we can make government and the rich people behind them listen to us. And by that I mean if we quit giving these people money they have to listen to us. We certainly can’t do this easily. The people who own these governments, our government, have their finger in almost everything we do in our daily life. But if we think about it and hold back just a little bit every time we get a chance, we might be able to make them feel the pinch.

Recycle, be more self-reliant, help each other so we don’t have to rely on outside help. Buy local. Trade and barter. Somehow we have to take our country back. Because the country belongs to the people. All the people. Not just the 1 percent.

And the other thing we have to learn to do is not believe everything you hear some politician tell you about how they’re going to make your life better. That goes for Republican and Democrat and progressive and independent politicians. We need to learn to think for ourselves and decide for ourselves what is real and what is true.

And yes, that means listening and reading whatever the media has to offer. But not taking everything they say is true as gospel. Read as many sources as you can,  watch as many sources as you can  and then make up your own mind. That’s why God gave you a mind, so you could think. We’re not supposed to be like sheep. There’s still time to reclaim our country. There’s still time to reclaim our world, our environment. And truly, even if we may not see the proceeds of our actions now, our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and beyond will thank us for standing up and doing the right thing and thinking about everybody in this world.

Just my thoughts as I was driving home from the gym. It’s funny how a little exercise can stimulate the brain.

Sincerely, Patrick Long