These days, you can’t help but be bombarded with how different we are from each other. My last blog post was a perfect example. Different views. Different sexes, Different realities. While I acknowledge that all that is true and relevant, I’m also starting to think that we (all of us) are missing the big picture. There are divisions certainly; but there are things we share – as human beings who are living in this time, in this space, on this planet.
Once I started to think along these lines I was able to come up with ten (I’m sure there are more, add yours in the comments if you like) things that all human beings share.
- We are alive, with consciousness, emotions and awareness
- We have the capacity to love, whether it’s our children, our career, our pets, our friends and family, our nation
- We want to be loved by others
- We are afraid of the unexpected or unknown
- We get anxious when our views or life circumstances are challenged or threatened in some way
- We know we can die and that Death has its own time and place beyond our control
- We grieve a loss
- We desire the respect of others and freedom to express ourselves
- We need sustanence, shelter, medicine and companship to survive
- We are products of our environment, good or bad, and are influenced by this throughout our lives
Just a start I know, but it has me thinking that maybe the time has come for us (all of us) not to be so charged up about of differences and focus more on what we have in common. All mothers ache for poor children. A man who is working two or more jobs and still can’t make it is just as worried about his family as the man who is working one job but is aware it can disappear at any time.
Commonalities unite us. Differences divide.
Those women marching last week did not represent me – or any woman I know – though I applaud their enthusiasm and do support their right to express themselves. My objections are around the lack of one cohesive message, the pink hats, Madonna (a woman who made acareer out of using her sexuality) and the fact that the march did nothing more than make the news for a day. Everyone went home feeling “empowered” but I don’t see why – you accomplished nothing.
Let’s start with the most obvious symbol of the Women’s March – hot pink beanies. I realize it was supposed to be a mockery of President Trump’s comments about a woman – recorded without his knowledge in a locker room (we might not like it girls, but reality is that’s how men talk in those all-male spaces). If you are against the objectifying of women WHY would you use a hat in that shape as a symbol??? Wear pink, carry signs, but don’t sabotage your message by wearing (on your head no less) a symbol of just what you don’t like. I tell you girls, men everywhere are laughing at you and not taking you seriously. You looked like a bunch of over emotional, reactionary women – fulfilling the EXACT stereotype you are fighting to remove.
You took all women all back a step.
Two years ago today my own personal nightmare began with my Mother’s dearth. A terrible, torturous end to a decades long battle with ovarian cancer. No matter how old you are, what your relationship might have been, this loss leaves you feeling like an orphan, your life turned upside down, your emotions in an uproar. All of us only have one mother, once she’s gone there’s a hole in your life that cannot be filled by any other being.
Of course I knew, on that day and all the ones to follow, the task left to me was impossible.
With his partner in life gone, I watched my strong, silent father heartily mourn the woman he’d loved for most of his lifetime — 50+ years — the bright-eyed blonde girl in the yellow dress. Holidays were now a lingering torture of memories and unwelcome changes. The house they’d loved became a lonely place, devoid of her silly songs and happy little ways. She was the woman who changed the course of his life. He was the man who made hers.
I was thinking this weekend about Easter and what we Catholics (even the bad CAPE kind, of which I am one) celebrate on this holiday. The event we celebrate happened thousands of years ago, and yet it remains the most important part of the Catholic calendar.
One of the few Bible verses I know is this one…
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Think about that for a second. That kind of love. That level of sacrifice. Astonishing, isn’t it?
It’s true, only recently have I come to understand why no one told me things about being a mother when I first joyfully announced my pregnancy. It was common consent, decency and kindness that kept others from telling me how huge a job I was undertaking. How it would be harder than I ever imagined, would test me in ways I could not foresee, would last far longer than I’d been promised.
I’m thinking about this again today because there’s a growing crop of newborns joining our already large family this year, and the news is thrilling. There is something very satisfying about watching the next generation (ones you knew as children) pass the milestones; college, career, marriage, first child. I smile at the thought of all the wonderful moments they’ll have. It will be a joy to watch these babies grow, these young people become parents.
I use song titles as blog post titles a lot. It’s not laziness, but rather these few words tend to capture feelings so well. Feelings that are hard, like grief.
Twelve years ago today I lost one of the most central people in my life. My head understood she was very sick and suffering; my heart was (and is) broken in ways that can never, ever be fixed.
My aunt Helen died quietly at her home in the early evening hours of the last Friday in February, after a short battle with leukemia. There are some memories that never leave you, and the night of her passing is one of those, even a dozen years later. Sitting there in the (virtually unchanged) house of my childhood, making awkward conversation with her rat-bastard of a husband as I tried to adjust to the idea that the person who was so much a part of my memories and my life was with us no more.
We had no hint (but should have) of the storm that was to come. Ugly, needlessly cruel but ultimately pointless.
As I write this, the NH Primary is less than a day away. Sometime tomorrow I will walk into my polling place, ignoring the earnest greetings of sign toting volunteers along my route to the door, and go into a booth to face my choice alone. Who do I honestly think will be the best President? By Wednesday morning the polls will have closed, the results announced, speeches made and hotel rooms checkout out of. The 2016 Presidential Campaign will lumber on without a backward glance.
We in NH can have our state back. Of course I realize the First in the Nation primary brings lots of money and attention to a state that’s often overlooked. I know why we fight to keep it. Without an income tax, NH needs all the help it can get to earn revenue — even annoying, self-serving help. A winter without snow has shown us how unreliable Mother Nature can be when it comes to drawing skiers to the slopes and money to our coffers.
And nobody minds (including us) being paid attention to, having (however brief) influence, making well-heeled politicians and press slog though the same slushy streets we do.
I’ve written before about how I truly think the meek deserve to inherit the Earth, as they put up with all the self centered foolishness of the rest of us. Quietly, without complaInt. Today I’m focusing on the quiet souls of this Earth who go about their business without a sound.
I am one of these quiet souls, have been my whole life. As a chold my mother (bold and brash and beautiful) chided me for being so shy, having nothing to say. I never could make the change she wanted, I was not wired that way. It’s not that I don’t have opinions, or that I think they are not valid — it’s just I have no urge to blure them out.
Ask and I’ll glady share, don’t and you’ll never know.
There are some things that are impossible to forgive or justify. I’m not talking about that big stuff here, but rather the things that are big in our own lives. Intentional hurts. Insults. Bad behavior. Things that reasonably can be forgiven.
Probably (if experience is any guide) not ever entirely forgotten.
There’s a reason that old saying combines “forgive” and “forget” in one expression. It seems to me that you can’t have forgiveness, true forgiveness, unless you have been able to forget (as much as possible) the hurt delivered to you in the first place. Forgiveness is far easier once some memory loss has taken place.
There are times in life when everybody wins. Everybody but you.
One of the hardest, loneliest of these is where a “win-win” is joyfully proclaimed and celebrated by everyone, except you. Whatever misgivings or concerns you might have are brushed aside, not even making the radar. No one sees what you do. The siren song of victory is calling to them all, no dark clouds in sight for anyone, but you.
If there is a lesson in the bad times in my own personal journey, I’ve yet to find it. Perhaps I’m a slow learner. Or a hopeless pessimist. Or lack true faith that things are unfolding as they were meant to.