Anonymous submission, member of the Emerge Maine Class of 2013
Does Big Bird mean anything to you? Do you remember him the way that I do? For me, he was the antithesis to Oscar the Grouch. He was the antidote to egocentric thinking. Big Bird taught me that having a sense of community mattered. He reminded me that kindness and decency were good. He taught me how to treat my fellow community members – even the ones that were not always behaving so well!
Some of my base values as a human being were reinforced through watching Big Bird and the rest of the Sesame Street cast. Although I was lucky to have family that also taught me such values, they also encouraged us to watch Public Television for most of our young lives. At times we lived in rural areas and/or were without the myriad of television stations that children may have access to today. If it were not for television programming such as Sesame Street there would have been little for us to watch as children, and certainly little that taught values of treating others as you wish to be treated, being kind to those that may differ from you, and recognizing that we are all part of a community.
The values that I developed in my young life are now reflected in my adult life. It is why I choose to be part of two groups now – the Democratic Party and Emerge Maine. These groups reflect, in part, who I am and who I want to remain in an ever-changing country. I join with other like-minded people now because I care about things such as the accessibility of education to those who cannot afford private schools and Direct TV. I care about the fabric of my community and how others are treated within it. I care that we educate our young minds about decency, kindness and tolerance. And I care if funding to Public Television is cut, obliterating educational programming for children who may not have access to it any other way.
Cutting funding to the most widely accessible educational programming on television cuts out an opportunity to reach the masses. From the masses may come the next generation of doctors, politicians, writers, social workers, and scientists. It would be great if they too, had grown up on Sesame Street, learning about human decency and integrity. For these reasons I support funding for Big Bird, and I for one, will stand by his side.
Emerge America publishes periodic blog posts written by members of our Emerge programs across the United States. The content and copy are the views of the writer alone and reflect the array of women we train to seek elected office. Class members and alumnae are invited to submit blog posts to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.