Couple can’t travel for the hol­i­days, won­der how to tell rest of fam­ily

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

The hol­i­days are com­ing up, and I am in a bind. Usu­ally, my fam­ily trav­els for Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas to visit rel­a­tives. My hus­band re­cently lost his job, and I am a stay-at-home mom. We can’t af­ford the flights or even the road trip we nor­mally take. We have to be fru­gal un­til we fig­ure out how we will earn a liv­ing to take care of our fam­ily. We don’t re­ally want to tell our ex­tended fam­ily what’s go­ing on.

My hus­band is a proud man, and he doesn’t want to ad­mit that he got laid off. I want to honor his wishes, but I don’t know what to tell the fam­ily. They will start wor­ry­ing and won­der­ing if we don’t tell them some­thing.

You can tell your fam­ily you won’t be com­ing to visit them this year. With your hus­band’s per­mis­sion, you can even say things are tight right now, and you need to save money, so you hope they un­der­stand. If they press you for de­tails, you can re­main vague. Many peo­ple are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing tight purse strings th­ese days, so this shouldn’t be an un­fa­mil­iar idea. Your fam­ily will be sur­prised and sad­dened that you aren’t com­ing to visit, but if you are firm, they will have to un­der­stand. In terms of man­ag­ing their con­cern, tell them you are OK. You have de­cided to make smart de­ci­sions for this lean mo­ment in your lives.

I am a ju­nior in col­lege, and I have been ac­tive in my stu­dent govern­ment since I was in mid­dle school. I have al­ways wanted to get into pol­i­tics, and I’m get­ting closer to my goal. My con­cern is that things are get­ting ugly in pol­i­tics th­ese days. It seems like it might be uglier than in the past. At my school the stu­dents don’t ar­gue re­spect­fully across par­ties. They have got­ten into fist­fights and nasty name-call­ing al­ready this year. I look at Con­gress and see that very lit­tle is get­ting done. Am I be­ing naive?

The po­lit­i­cal land­scape does seem par­tic­u­larly nasty th­ese days, but be­lieve it or not, this is not un­usual. Peo­ple have dif­fer­ent views about val­ues, money and how the coun­try should be run, and those war­ring views some­times lead to volatile dis­cus­sions and be­hav­iors. It is for those rea­sons that it is im­por­tant for smart, com­mit­ted peo­ple to en­ter the field of pol­i­tics. Our coun­try needs great thinkers and com­mit­ted work­ers to stand up for their point of view and help to make our world a bet­ter place. The United States is often called “the great ex­per­i­ment in democ­racy.” Our coun­try makes an ef­fort to al­low all lines of think­ing to be heard and con­sid­ered. This often makes for messy con­ver­sa­tions and plenty of ten­sion. The great news is that it also makes it pos­si­ble for us to come to­gether and com­pro­mise to­ward the greater good of our peo­ple. We need you. Please jump in.

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