Grinding the seed corn

Key Minnesota statistics around on the status of children:

  • 11.4% of children under 18 years old are living in poverty in Minnesota.
  • For families the poverty rate is 6.2% and for families with children under 18 years, the poverty rate is 9.8%, and for families with children under 5 years the rate increases to 12.7%.
  • In Minnesota there are 78,629 children living without health insurance (6.3% of children in the state).
  • There are 108,098 children not enrolled in school in Minnesota between the ages of 3 and 17.
  • The median household income is $72,008, and 12.5% of children are living in households with Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash public assistance income, or Food Stamp benefits.

The above statistics landed in my email in box courtesy of the Children’s Interfaith Advocacy Network.

Artist Kathe Kollwitz has an incredibly powerful work in which a mother is depicted in a fiercely sheltering embrace of her children.  It is entitled “Seed Corn Must not be Ground”.  It speaks volumes.  As do the above statistics.

I just can’t figure it.  I can’t understand that any sort of rationale could be shared that would legitimate our grinding of the seed corn that is our children.  They are the crop of the future.   They are our hope and our legacy and, increasingly, our witness to our values.

Clearly we value armaments and strip malls and stadiums more than we value the seed corn.  Clearly we have deafened our ears and hearts to the teachings of Jesus which are so very clear about our need to care for the “least of these”.

I don’t much want to hear arguments from politicians about whose failed policies created a reality in which so many of our children live without basic human necessities.  I don’t much want to endure any longer the finger pointing and posturing because clearly, the only place the finger can point with unerring accuracy is at ourselves.

We are a part of the problem.  And, thank God, we are a part of the solution. 

Let us put down the shields we hide behind as we play the partisan blame game.  Let us instead wrap ourselves in the awareness that whilst the battle for blame goes on, our children are being ground.

Check out the Children’s Interfaith Advocacy Network.  Organize a group in your church.  Raise your voice and your awareness.

Seed corn must not be ground.

in it

Living in the city is hard for me.

So, I bought a scooter.  A Barbie pink one.  It is a 50 cc which means I can go up to 45 mph, it gets 80 – 100 miles per gallon, and it has made me giddy.

Now upon waking, one of my first thoughts is whether or not it’s a “scooter day”.  Now, I plot out routes across town that are back road beautiful.  Now, I am delighted to run errands and tend to tasks that require travel because I get to feel the wind in my face and I love it.

I was twelve or so when I first got bit by the mini bike bug.  A friend had one and I remember loving the adventure of putting along trails with it.  I have toyed for years with the temptation to get a motorcycle, but as a mom and as an ever-aging woman-aware-of-vulnerability I wasn’t too keen on high speed and long distance power.

But scooters, well, that’s a whole different thing.  They began appearing before my eyes everywhere and each time I saw one my heart did a lurchy kind of call out to it and when I had run out of the necessary restraints that kept me from plunking down my money for such a one-person toy, I entered a store and there is was:  not the classy red that I had thought to call my own, but a shocking pink one that was priced to sell (imagine, pink as a hard color to move off the floor!).

Fall is fabulous on a scooter.  The smells and the warmth of the sun, the quality of light and the right-in-your-face beauty of flowers and trees and children waiting for school busses is breathed right in. 

I’m in it:  life and living.