Sunday, July 20, 2008

Neither 3rd nor 47th: Education and personal accountability can lead us to a happy medium

Commentary by Cesar A. Muedas

Friday's Tennessean reported that our state is the third most obese. Today, the Jackson Sun picks up the AP story that ranks Tennessee as 47th in the nation for library funding.
Three quarters of my household are Tennessean by birth; I am a proud Nashvillean by choice. How do these types of stats rub us? Not a pretty picture, indeed. But if we are really tired of this curse of being top of the worst or bottom of the best, we must start taking personal responsibility, voice opinions, and trigger meaningful actions.
What happens in the privacy of our homes is each family's business. What happens in the confines of our public schools is highly regulated and subject to unavoidable bureaucracy. But unquestionably, a lot of educating must be going on in both places. Let's ramp up the quantity and quality of that education. Let's inject more discipline and clean fun to the positive activities that occur at both (home and school). And let's exercise (pun intended) our civic duty of voting knowledgeably for those who, once in office, will listen, care and act in favor of changes beyond fads.
I am glad I am not on cholesterol medication, and now publicly will make a commitment for more walking and less driving. Many friends have heard my complaints about some junk I occasionally spot on shelves at the downtown library, so now will be time for me to put some observations in black and white and email them to the powers that be. But enough soap box rhetoric and let's also be practical. Later today, I will walk my bike to the gas station to inflate the tires; and tomorrow morning I will pay the $12.60 I have accrued in late fees at the library ... So, I invite you first to read the two articles linked above and then do what your conscience and common sense dictate, not just for ourselves but also for the sake of those who will not be of voting age for a good decade or more.

Cesar Muedas and his family of four live in Davidson County, for now have a collective weight under 400 lb. and habitually maintain the limit of 25 items checked out from our public library.

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