THE SCENE: Driving with my two sons to protest the closure of two health clinics for the poor.
8 YEAR OLD: "Why don't they want poor people to see a doctor?"
ME: "Well, when concentrations of power like a government make decisions on how to spend their money, they will often choose to spend it on serving those with power in our society. Poor people don't have much power. So, it's easy to cut funding to the programs poor people need because they can't easily exercise power over the decisionmakers."
8 YEAR OLD: "I'm glad we're not poor. Have I ever been poor?"
ME: "Well, I've been poor. Your mother has been poor. We've had some struggles during the time when you've been with us but no, you've never been poor. Struggling is when you're faced with bad options. Poor is when you don't have options."
8 YEAR OLD: "What are we going to do at the protest?"
ME: "We're going to lend them our power. What daddy does for a living is to try and convince those who have power to share it with those who do not. Sometimes we can do this by showing that the powerless have friends with power."
8 YEAR OLD: "What if they don't want to share their power?"
ME: "Then we stop asking and we take their power from them."
5 YEAR OLD: "Are we going to get to yell at some bad guys?"
ME: LAUGHTER: "Yes, we're going to get to yell at some bad guys."