Tag Archives: USA

Just Saying

I’m a head case, always have been and unless I get dementia, always will be. My mind is continuously busy with thoughts and questions so it’s not unusual for me to walk into a room and not know why I’ve come there. People say that’s a sign of senility but I’ve been doing that since I was ten. I didn’t realize until this morning that my mind is also crowded with adages, song lyrics and literary allusions.

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As I did the breakfast dishes, I was thinking about George Washington. He cut down the cherry tree but he would not tell a lie. That story from first grade has had a lasting effect on me. I rarely tell even a white lie—I’d never lie about something big. And my word is my bond.

Thoughts about George led to a flood of others. Growing up, my brother, sister and I were taught to never judge anyone until we’d walked in his or her shoes. We drank in the concepts of compassion and respect for others with our Gerber formula. We knew that there but for the grace of God, we’d have gone into the ovens of Auschwitz.

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Taught to be responsible for each other and be grateful for what we had, we knew we needed to share our bounty. I took this to heart and have literally given people the shirt off my back.

My brother gave away the money for his birthday party to help a family in need.

My brother gave away the money for his birthday party to help a family in need.

The work ethic and saving for a rainy day were strong themes in my childhood. Our parents were children of immigrants fleeing religious persecution.

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They married during the Depression and had no money. But when the going got tough, the tough got going. They worked like dogs to become successful and to make sure we all went to college.

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We were admonished that the early bird gets the worm and that practice makes perfect.

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“Waste not, want not,” they said if we left the lights on. If we didn’t finish our vegetables, we were reminded about the starving children in China. Along with this, we were taught that a penny saved was a penny earned, but also that all that glitters is not gold. There was also a sneaky suspicion that money was the root of all evil.

My parents weren’t the speak when spoken to kind. We were encouraged to have our own opinions as long as we honored our mother and father, and thought before we spoke. However, we were cautioned about opening a Pandora’s box and that it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.

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Since the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I taught these same values to my own children.

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They have taught them to theirs. Which makes me proud as punch, even though I know that pride goes before a fall. We all believe immigrants like our families have made this country strong.

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I think who we are is a combination of our nature and how we’ve been nurtured. I’ve been told many times not to be so nice because nice guys finish last, but it’s just the way I’m wired. Besides, I’m the tortoise to many others’ hare. Slow and steady wins my race.

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Which reminds me, I think there’s a place for everything and everything has a place. That’s why I go crazy when I need my scissors and they aren’t where I put them. The Borrowers have moved them.

Even though I’m an old dog, I’m trying to learn new tricks. An inveterate multi-tasker, I can rush around like a chicken with my head cut off, but I’m getting better. I don’t rob Peter so much to pay Paul. I’m more into the moment, into the Now. I’ve always been slow to anger, and believed you can catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar. I have a long fuse but when lit, watch out. Then I’d be happy to cut off my nose to spite my face. I’m willing to share all this because I’m an open book. The truth is, you can’t tell a book by its cover.

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Besides all these sayings, song lyrics play in my head. They come up from my subconscious, unbidden. Last fall while my husband was going through Proton radiation, the constant theme song playing was, “Put on a Happy Face.”

Lately, it’s “Wake Me Up When It’s All Over,” because I’m as frightened as a rabbit about the present political climate, as well as just climate in general. Hope springs eternal so I’m hoping the Emperor has someone around who tells him he has no clothes on. I’m hoping they don’t throw the baby out with the bath water when reforming affordable health care.

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I’ve given up watching television. I’m sick of the pundits earning fame and fortune while crying, “The sky is falling.” And I can’t handle the bloggers, who obviously never went to Journalism School where we learned to be clear, concise and accurate.

Right now the lyric in my head is Bob Marley’s, “every little thing’s gonna be all right.” I know there’s no fool like an old fool, but I still believe good triumphs over evil. I’m still looking for the silver lining.

 

 

 

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United We Stand

I volunteered again this weekend. It’s what I can do. I can’t watch the talking heads anymore. I think it’s these hired guns who are dividing us. Who are they? They’re just giving us their opinions–I rather listen to yours. These people are paid to cause controversy so the networks’ ratings go up. A lot of what they say is drivel. A lot of what they say is completely on party lines and they don’t deviate. Most of it is negative. Some journalists don’t hesitate to promote their own career along with their political agenda. Why is there so little talk of policy and plans for the future? Why is there no discussion of what America stands for?

I rather spend my time with people who want to work together to create solutions.

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I volunteered again this weekend so I could be with people who care about the country. They care enough that they’re giving up their time to talk to strangers about the election. That’s no easy task. I listened in sometimes and I was struck by the sincerity I heard. It was Americans reaching out to other Americans. Don’t tell me people don’t care.

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People came early to work on more than one shift. That morning by 11:00, thirty people came to the door to volunteer. As the day went on, the numbers kept increasing. The ages ranged from 16 to 90.

“I wish I could vote,” the sixteen-year-old said. “But at least I can make calls.”

Harold, the ninety-year-old was one of the walk-ins.

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“I’ve got to do my part,” he said. And he got right to work.

The mood was somber. We felt the weight of our responsibility. We believe in our candidate. We feel Hillary Clinton will make an excellent President. We’re concerned that Donald Trump is not prepared.

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“I had to come,” one man said. “There are so many lies out there, I’ve got to do something or I’d feel guilty.”2016-11-05-10-19-21

 

I happened to be in a Democratic group but I bet there was a Republican group with the same kind of people. People of good will. People who care about our country and are willing to work for the common good. We’re not flashy nor dramatic. You don’t see us because we aren’t the kind to create headlines. We’re just ordinary normal Americans.

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