What if we were to refrain from saying and doing things that we were taught were so wrong when we were children in grammar school…because by doing so, prevented us from getting along with each other? I speak specifically of:
1. Name calling and labeling people 2. Demeaning and degrading people
If these simple rules were valued and put into practice, most of the people in our current political environment and popular media outlets would have nothing
Until the last few years, we could be confident and were able to rely upon public figures with access to us by way of television, radio, and the newspapers to be respectful of themselves and for us, and determined and cared to be known as such a person. And by extension, we as well felt that respect within ourselves. It was a pleasing, civil experience. So how was it all replaced with pervasive, mind-numbing, searing vitriol?
There seems an intent to energize consciousness at the lowest of levels; negativity that individually, we all do the work and gratefully succeed upon improving. And there are matters, do to personal experience, which require more effort. But we keep doing the work because we are not children, and we realize the rights of others, and simply because we know that we should; because we feel both personally and spiritually that it is the good thing. It becomes our guiding light and provides us the realization of our humanity at its higher level. It makes “the playground at recess” a pleasant time for all! The difficulty I feel experiencing people with unbridled disrespect for anything that they don’t like; with that being the only criteria, and given access to all major media to deliver far and wide such poison is not easy to quantify; people who hate what they cannot control, because they cannot control, specifically when someone wants to discuss matters instead of simply falling into compliance.
And consider that there is an entire generation with no reference at all to the way the news was once presented. Our current environment is what they know.
Writing about this lack of respect is a little sickening but I dwell upon the what I consider a powerful fact, that respect is the most effective, and the easiest solution for our troubles.
What if we could make the effort to choose respect for ourselves and others, and give and feel it in all that we think, say, and do?
What if we could accept our limitations and the limitations of others and show compassion for both?
During a prolonged illness I was inspired to write this book.
While struggling through a convergence of life-changing events and making little progress, I was suddenly presented with the most amazing gift. A childhood memory suddenly emerged. It seemed to have an urgency, pleasantly so, not at all like matters before me. I began to write. With every detail that I could recall, I was gifted another, until all of the shapes and colors were there within a my 50-page novelette.
It is a story from my childhood which took place in 1950’s on a farm in Virginia. As I wrote the words I felt warm and comforting support for a time that I spent with my grandparents, so very dear to me now. Until the time of writing, I was unaware of how much meaning that summer with my grandparent’s had brought to my life, and somehow having remained safe in my heart all along. It was written with love and a deep and ever-growing appreciation for my family. It might well have been entitled , “The Gift”.
Here is an excerpt.
Two Little Girls
As far as I was concerned, summer began with the day my father installed the screens in the windows. Early that morning, Mother would have taken the summer sheers from storage to the clothesline in our backyard. By the afternoon, she swooped up the freshened bundle and brought them back indoors to hang on the rods at the tops of the windows. When the transformation was complete, I’d run from room to room to see the curtains flying on the breeze that raced in through the windows of our big old house. Like a magical invitation to adventures possible only with summer, when one day melted into the next and no one asked about the time, I felt that I could fly too and that anything could happen.
There were 5 children in my family. My brother Lionel was the oldest; my sister Cecilia was next, followed by my sister Rose, then my brother Isaac, and me. We spent summertime totally absorbed in keeping pace with our friends as was our Mother in keeping up with us. She mended our scraped knees, our bruised egos, and the holes in my brothers’ dungarees. I remember lemonade and tuna sandwiches, cotton sun dresses and hair ribbons; the pennies I collected for the corner candy store, and my ankle socks that never stayed up. Summers seemed much longer then when hopscotch and jump rope, hide-and-seek and tag, dress-up and make believe, with my bicycle, my dolls and friends filled the days until supper time. When August finally came around, among the five of us someone would be chosen to vacation with our grandparents in the country. It was in the year 1957 that I was to spend my first summer there.
I’d thought so often about my first trip to the farm. But like the landing of a cascading boulder, my mother’s cheerful delivery of this summer’s plan completely shattered my vision of it. Leaving little room for the way that reality alters things but similar to most events concerning “the children”, I was quite certain of my unvarying reverie. It was always the same. My brothers and sisters are running through a country field with me, very happily and as usual, following close behind. But everything had been arranged and I alone would spend two weeks on the farm that year.
My family had gathered in the living room when Mother made the announcement. But my frustrating lack of enthusiasm was like a call to dinner in emptying the room of everyone and I found myself alone, save for the dog. While I struggled with the concept of being on my own, Spiky jumped onto the couch next to me. Placing his head upon my foot he kept a concerned and watchful eye over my disposition until we both fell asleep.
Later that day, I listened to Dad’s recollections of farm life adventures while Mother prepared supper. As she filled in with the finer points and particulars she’d taken note of my mixed feelings with her knowing smile that always took the sharp edges off of things. “Don’t forget that your cousin Joanna is just about your age and lives close to Grandpa‘s”, she nearly whispered. Then I thought of the pocket inside the little green suitcase as the place where my Jacks would find a perfect fit.
~~~~~~~ Truth is Beauty is Love ~~~~~~
You are amazing. Create something beautiful today!
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