It was raining when I looked out the window this morning. It reminded me of the rhyme my mother sang when I was a kid, “Rain, rain, go away…” I wanted to go out and play. For sure, we all want something, most likely many thanks. It’s not selfish; it motivates us to work hard. At least that’s the theory.
Sometimes we forget and we may think that we have an entitlement to these “things” or that if someone else has them, they’re no longer available to us. Neither is the case and both of these feelings are counterproductive. We’re denying our own capabilities and causing ourselves unnecessary pain.
One nice thing about the Biblical story of creation, and probably most others in different cultures, is that they have humankind beginning with one family – an Adam and Eve – from whence we are all descended. That makes us all family. And as in many families, there are siblings with different complexions and diverse talents. I venture to guess as kids we’ve all heard from our parents: “Share and share alike.”
Nice. My father, who was the third of four brothers, told us how as one of eight in an immigrant family he was happy when his older brothers grew out of a pair of shoes. “They weren’t hand-me-downs, just broken-in shoes so I didn’t get blisters.”
We’ve been asked explicitly in recent years to become more sensitive to other people different from us and to be aware that they too are entitled to enjoy the same rights and protections as we, the white male majority have as our “birthright privilege.” It’s only natural that we may feel some resentment, feel threatened that there won’t be enough to go around.
That’s not the case. If the playing field is level, all can contribute and fewer will need help to get over rough bumps.
Here’s a thought then: just taking creates an imbalance. We need to give something back. When you have a moment, think of a prejudice or a false stereotype you may hold. Work on releasing it.
If you’re stuck, recall what I’ve suggested several times. When you’re out walking, pick up a piece of litter and dispose of it properly. Or here’s a new one: drive less aggressively – come to a full stop at stop signs (there can be kids in the neighborhood running or on bikes) and don’t run or jump red lights.
It’s still raining out there, my pants are wet from walking our beagle, but, as the blues sings, “I know the sun is going to shine in my backyard someday.”
Have a great day!
Ken was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, and an IBMer until downsized in 2000. He taught yoga until COVID-19 decided otherwise. He continues writing, living with his wife and beagle in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He’s a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. Ken is a writer and his literary works can be found at https://www.kmkbooks.com/
He welcomes feedback on his articles and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.