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She persisted

February 26, 2017

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We have bird feeders.  They are also inadvertently squirrel feeders.  The little red squirrels can tuck in on the perch and sit there and eat their fill.

The bigger squirrels have to find another way. I can’t tell if there are several or just one, but when they do go for the sunflower seeds, they sit on top of the bird feeder.  They used to hang on the empty suet basket on the side and eat their fill, so my husband took off the wire basket.  Hence they needed to find another way to get the sunflower seeds.

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This squirrel has learned how to sit on the top and reach down and get from the little hole that once held the suet feeder and take one sunflower seed at a time.  Think about it!  The persistence to sit there and sometimes slide off – one story to the ground – or catch the railing.  There were times that she could climb up the pole that holds the sunflower seed feeder but now she has to climb the pole for the suet feeder and jump over.  If the sunflower seeds are out, she will eat from the suet feeder. (I don’t know how to know the gender of a squirrel but for purposes of this post, I am saying “she”)

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Given that we are sort of “out in the wilderness”, one would think we would be overrun by squirrels.  In fact, at this time, we have only a few.  When we think she has monopolized the bird feeder from the birds long enough, we run her off – that is for a while.  She will be back.  She knows what needs to be done to get fed and she sets about doing it.

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I have been thinking about the squirrel and the squirrel’s persistence in getting the job done.  I have been emailing and calling my congress people almost every other day.  I didn’t think I was even being heard until yesterday when I actually got to talk to someone and sure enough, they had my record of all my emails.  I am just the opposite of 2 of the 3 people in congress.  I don’t know that I can change their Republican minds, but I am a constituent and I will be heard.  (Though from hearing Paul Ryan on the news he doesn’t care – we can talk until we are blue in the face and they will keep on marching their way.)

I sat down after that conversation with a live person and contemplated the conversation.  She quoted the dates and topics that I had emailed.  I felt so tired and discouraged and thought “It has only been 1 month that this administration has tried to devolve our nation and the world into chaos – how can I keep do this?”.  This little squirrel gave me hope and motivation to keep on keeping on.  Persistence matters.   You need to do what needs to be done and find the motivation that will keep you and others going.  So persist! Keep on keeping on.  I don’t think they are listening to me but I will keep on sending the message.  I don’t know what kind of conversation would even break into their world and make a difference but I will try – one email and one phone call at a time.

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We need to be kind to our planet and our children.  We can’t deny climate change – scientifically it is real and it may already be too late.   I have grandkids that I want to know have a planet to live on.  We can’t gut public school.  Private and charter schools have no mandates to care for the “tough” kids – the ones that act out and the ones that need special help.  They can just get rid of them like yesterday’s garbage.  We need public schools to have creative and critical thinkers who are the leaders and workers of tomorrow.  Without hope, we will devolve into chaos.  The book “Atlas Shrugged” seems all too real.  We can’t build pipelines that pollute water and the earth.  We can’t leave people without medical care – the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood need to exist.  We can’t let guns in our schools.  We can’t change the economy so poor and middle class people can’t exist and only wealthy people accumulate more wealth.  We have to care for the elderly and those who can’t exist on their own – age and mental illness is no excuse to throw away people.  We have obligations to others and to ourselves to stand up and make a difference.  “But she persisted” can be a battle cry for all as well as Elizabeth Warren.  WE need to persist.  We need to support those who persist.  We need to make a difference and be like the squirrel – one seed at a time – one email or phone call at a time – with that tenacity we WILL succeed.

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