Tuesday, January 23, 2007
long wordy thoughts
The me that is today would surely love to nap on the couch all day. I have so much to do so of course I am feeling a tad overwhelmed. I have at the very least finished three loads of laundry. That oughta count for something I guess. I am my own worst critic.
This may sound pat and corny or it may have been said by many a million times over but life sometimes worries me. Not the living of life. At least not my living of my life though there are days when I want to hide. What I am thinking is the carelessness of so many. People all around and their tiny actions that are so profound. Little kinks in the chain that knot everything all up. The hurry hurry hurry and all the rushing. No one seems to have any time anymore. It is not often I see people walking for the sake of walking. For the joy of seeing and observing the world around them. I walk less than I should and not in a "need to excercise" kind of way, more of an enjoy the moment kind of way. When I walk to the post office or the library I am surrounded by people. People walking, running, rush rush rushing around. People on their cell phones hollering into the air around them. People plugged into their iPods jogging to their music. I see such determination in their faces. These people are driven. They are fearless. They are important. They never smile. I don't see smiles anymore. I don't get greeted anymore. My "hullos" and "good mornings" are met with startled annoyance. What has happened?
I come out to my car to find yet anther ding or dent on the side due to another's careless actions. I don't park in a spot if my car won't fit. An SUV is not a compact. It should not park in a compact spot. I don't care about the superficial scratches and dents in my car of which there are many. I do however care that people think it is okay. That people do such things. Almost everyday I go to my car there is some sort of sales flyer on the windshield. I pluck it off and crumple it up without even looking at it and then I throw it IN my car to be removed with all the other flotsam that rolls around it. I see other people come out to there cars and rip their flyers off their windshields, crumple them up and drop them...in the street. In the street! Just drop them. I see people unwrap their gum and let the papers fall as they walk. I see cigarette butts soar out of car windows. I am bump bump bumped by people on their phones with no sort of apology. Just a grunt in my general direction. What has happened to kindness, thoughtfulness, and community. What has happened to us?
I was speaking with a young man that I know who was complaining about his home life. His home was a mess. Dirty, cluttered, crazy. A mess that evidenced the likelihood that two teenagers lived there. His mother, a single parent, works full time and is herself not the neatest person in the room. (Nor am I.) She had offered him up a pretty sum to do the cleaning himself but he refused. He didn't want to pick up after other people. He didn't want to pick up after himself. I offered up words of "be responsible for yourself, make sure not to add to the general chaos, keep your mess to your room so that you are certain all around you is not your fault." He didn't like that solution. I told him to take the money, clean it up and then keep his part clean. I got another no. I was frusterated. A few hours later he was whining again. I asked him if he knew the story of The Little Red Hen. I tried to use it as a view I have of our society, our planet even. Now, I know not everyone is like this, thank goodness but do you see that somehow, everyone is disgruntled with the way things are and yet no one wants to make their own bread? I asked him this and he was very positive in his reactions as I applied this to our country. He agreed wholeheartedly and yet he missed the point. He needs to make his own bread. Just because what you see around you is the mainstream, the norm, the way everyone else does things, does NOT mean you,we,I need to do it also. And then I think that maybe, those that don't make their own bread do so out of fear. Fear of failure, fear of being laughed at, fear of it not making a difference. It does make a difference. It might be a tiny difference, but it is a difference none the less.
Do you know that car insurance commercial in the U.S.? The one about all the little good deeds, the minute pay it forwards? I'm sure if you saw it, you would feel a might choked up. You would smile because YES! Yes, that is how the world should be! We should all be doing what we can to build a better tomorrow. To build a better today. Doesn't maiking someone smile make you feel good? Doesn't smiling make you feel good? Can't you feel the chemical change in your body when you smile? When you laugh? IT is a most glorious, positive thing. I promise you it is. When we think small changes don't make a difference and we think our actions don't effect the people around us just know that it indeed does. I once took my nanny kids out to a museum and we were walking along a park sidewalk from one exhibit hall to another when I stopped to pick up a lollipop someone had dropped in the path. The A-boy (aged 7) asked me why I did it. He asked if it was mine. I told him it wasn't but just because I didn't drop it didn't mean I couldn't pick it up. I asked him if he remembered what he learned in his class about the world, the environment and recycling and he told me what he had learned and then I saw a twinkle in his eye and he told me that my picking up the lollipop was a way of recycling and helping the planet and I assured him that yes it was. The H-girl (aged 4) then piped up "People shouldn't leave their garbage on the ground." I told her she was correct, that they shouldn't and then for the rest of the day, if we saw something to pick up, we did. That was three years ago and they are still thinking of ways to help the planet. See?
A small action done by me has turned into something bigger. Not too big but who knows hope is out there.
I started this ramble because of what I see everyday, because of what I hear everyday. Yesterday on the radio they were talking about China's test missile. The report mentioned the possible threat to our military etc. The next report was about the U.S. wanting to place missile defenses in Poland and Russia's disapproval. All this made me think of everything going on militarywise in the world. I couldn't help but think that all this money, all these billions of dollars spent on objects meant to DESTROY our planet and life as we know it...wouldn't it make sense to stop. Just stop. Stop and use that money to patch up all the craziness we are experiencing? Rebuild what we can, develop better fuel, feed the millions of hungry people out there? Do we all have to watch War Games again to know that there are no winners in violence, in fighting, in war? There are no winners. I think we should all bake some bread.