Everyone needs to know that one person in life crazier than they are to feel better about themselves...so pull up a chair, you've just met that person...
Humor is also a way of saying something serious. - T. S. Eliot Quotes
Monday, October 4, 2010
Shaking in My Boots
"Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform.” Susan B. Anthony
Interesting things have happened in the last couple weeks. A reader of my blog, who I don't know, but who knows my dad sent me a thank-you note in the mail. I had sent some diapers her way for her beautiful new baby. That made my day -- her unexpected show of gratitude.
Another reader of my blog, who I don't know, has become a wonderful person to chat with between our children falling off chairs, planning parties, and trying our darnedest to maintain our sanity as we lead each other on fantasies of what it would be like to take each other's children for a full week while the other completely and thoroughly organizes her home. Fantasy is the key word -- she lives states away.
A writer -- whom I knew years ago and before I knew that I too wanted to be a writer -- popped back into my life and invited me to meet her and an internationally known expert in civil engagement. My OOC pieces, it turns out, were spoken with enough passion to get her attention and take me down a new road that begins tomorrow when I meet them both.
After writing the OOC pieces, I realized that some people decided they didn't like me too well. And some days that bothered me. Other days it didn't. I am still conflicted about it.
Apprehensive about tomorrow's meeting, and about continuing to express my new-found voice of passion, Susan B. Anthony whispered the above statement to me.
And a friend's words to his daughter seemed advice I need to follow as well...
"Be kind - Don’t be soft, but be gentle. Don’t crawl over anyone on your way up, but don’t stop crawling up either."Unconventional Wisdom Author
In the past couple weeks, I have come to realize that one neighbor must certainly be made of sugar, she is so kind. That sounds sappy, but it is what comes to mind. She gladly takes my children for me -- even at the drop of a hat when I had to run Sophia in for X-rays after Ella jumped off a table and crushed Sophia's foot. This woman is always there, and I don't know if she knows that I am humbled in her presence. And that I consider her a lifesaver. And a safety net. She's always been there...I am only now letting her in.
These three woman who have, even after my riled up OOC rant, have shown me kindness. I'm not sure if they agreed with me, but they have modeled to me the importance of staying engaged with one another-- even with people who don't have the same views. It shows respect. It shows human-ness. And acceptance.
And it takes away defensiveness, game-playing, and power struggles for who is right and who is wrong.
It gets me to wondering how much we could accomplish if we all truly tried to improve things and let go of building our egos.
Well, that's all I have to say for right now. I don't know politics. And I don't know what "citizenship" means when paired with civil engagement. So I'll go tomorrow. And meet a great man while re-uniting with a writer I once knew. And, in all my smallness, I will listen while Susan B. Anthony holds my hand.