The 5 Principles

By Ryan Marucco, political activist & love warrior

There are 5 principles that are the pillars of humanity. Each pillar is different, yet linked together. All of these principles are essential when it comes to the progression and stability of our society.

These 5 principles were laid out in a speech by Hon. Glenn Poshard. As you may know, Glenn Poshard served in the Illinois State Legislature, United States House of Representatives, and was the Democratic nominee for Illinois Governor in 1998. 

Glenn listed and articulated these principles in a speech this past week.  He labeled them as the 5 principles of the Democratic Party. While listening to his speech, I was fired up and secretly fist pumping my approval. I then thought to myself, "these are principles of humanity in general; not just the Democratic Party." 

One principle is education equality, quite possibly the most important thing that faces us today.  It is vitally important that we look at all students as equal students. Education is the foundation of everything that we are as people. It doesn't matter if they are from a family that is worth millions, or in debt up to their eyeballs. It doesn't matter if a student is black, white, or Hispanic, Muslim, Christian or Jewish. Every child should have an equal shot. It is a moral responsibility for all of us to make sure that this happens.

A second principle is potentially a precursor for the ability to provide this type of educational equality: balancing a budget. I think this goes for all of us at home and all of us in government.  We need to prioritize our spending. We cannot spend billions of dollars on wars that destroy families and countries and still fund our education system adequately. It does not work. The math doesn't add up. It's not there. 

This leads to the 3rd principle of humanity: don't discriminate. It's really sad that we are still having to teach this principle to people, but it seems that it has become a larger issue lately.  Why not seek out people who are different? Why not go to them and ask them questions. If you are skeptical about a black guy's views on the world, go ask the black guy. If you truly wonder if a Muslim woman is being oppressed, go ask her.  It's not that difficult.  I've done it.  Anyone else can do it. Always remember that we all walk on the same soil, despite the fact that it may be separated by an ocean, a desert, a language, or a belief system. Dialogue and diplomacy solve problems, whether it be a dispute with another country or a dispute with your next-door neighbor.

The fourth principle is supporting unions. You don't have to be a union member to support a living wage, solid benefits, and fair treatment in the workplace. Unions have traditionally fought for these things and are the standard bearers when it comes to workplace fairness. You don't have to be in a union to support these ideals. You don't have to be in a union to benefit from the work that has been done by unions. You can still fight for them. Mother Jones from Mt. Olive, Illinois, went to work fighting for the men in the Illinois coal mines and as a result, unions were born and we all benefitted from them. The 40 hour work week was born. Child labor was ended. Fair wages were created. America is better because of unions and they are the continuing foundation for our future growth.

By following the first four principles, you'll uphold the final principle: protect those who are most vulnerable. Life is a lottery. I personally hit the jackpot.  I'm a white male who lives in the most powerful nation in the world. I'm in what could be a very dominant position as a white American male. However, there are vulnerable people who need protected. They may be a minority when it comes to race and religion. Perhaps they are vulnerable due to being poor or disabled. As someone who is fortunate, it is my responsibility to do what I can to help people who need a little boost. If you are in the life boat and someone is floating in the water nearby, it is your job as a human being to grab their arms and pull them onboard. 

I've given a short summary of each of these principles and could go on for days about them,  but there is a point to what I am saying. We have to work together. We have to be friends.  Going back to the beginning of this, you will remember that I credited Glenn Poshard with these 5 principles. I don't agree with Glenn Poshard on many key issues. I'm much more liberal than Glenn Poshard. He is pro-life. I am pro-choice.  His views on gun control are not the same as mine. However, Glenn Poshard is a pragmatic human being who wants to solve problems and keep us progressing as a society. I challenge everyone to be a pragmatic human being. While I disagree with him on a few issues, I see Poshard as a hard worker who is a wonderful person, a family man, and a humanitarian. Most importantly, he is a guy who can look at those differences and set them aside for the better good. Rationality is the most important trait that any of us can possess.

It shouldn't be about what we can't get done. It should be about finding common ground about what we can get done to continue making our planet a better place to live. You can disagree with someone on issues but still find common ground and make things work. Push for reform. Work hard for what is best even if you may ruffle a few feathers along the way. At the end of the day, the great majority of us are pretty close together when it comes to what we want in life and what we feel is right and wrong. Unite and use your ideas for good. 

These 5 principles are pillars that support our world. Each day when you wake up, please think of those and ask yourself what you can do to make things better and keep pushing things forward. Making someone else's life better will also make your life better.

After Poshard gave his speech, he and his wife Jo left to go to another event and talk to people. They were several feet ahead of me walking down a rock driveway, and I thought to myself, "This is a 70 year old man who has been fighting for people for many decades and he is still out here fighting. He isn't on the ballot. He's not running for office or trying to get a job.  He's driven all the way up here from Southern Illinois to make sure that we are still doing the right things as humans." I think we all need to find our inner Glenn and continue to spread goodness no matter what the stakes may be.

Ryan Marucco is a former student of mine. He is politically savvy, well-read, and passionate about social issues. If you run into him, ask about the time he and his friend Marty stole my car.