Remembering what’s important

Where have I been in the last two weeks? Not at my computer, that’s for sure. My previous blog brought up uncomfortable feelings. So much so that I didn’t post it on social media, only sent it to my followers. I told myself last week that I was too busy to write because Matt was visiting with us. In hindsight, that was an excuse. I could have written on Thursday before he arrived on Friday. It’s taken me a week just to sort through my discomfort, but the process has become an enlightening experience that I’m finally ready to share.

I’ve been listening to Sting’s “Let your soul be your pilot” on repeat. At first, I thought the melody was drawing me in. But as I sit to write about the last two weeks, I understand that the words more likely are what have been drawing me.

If you haven’t read my post of May 27, 2022, I wrote about the phrase “thoughts and prayers,” not from the standpoint of the mass shooting at Uvalde, but instead, a story about what I believe those words mean. My post is about a family in town who recently lost their son. I think it’s a nice post.

But I worried a bit before uploading it; the timing was off because of the shooting. I wrote and rewrote, hoping to make myself clear, and while I believe I succeeded, it still elicited responses about politicians using those exact words with no meaning behind them. 

Let me try to condense what I could spend hours discussing. My childhood was a war zone. It also had its splendid moments. But the battlefield left me resistant to confrontation. Don’t get me wrong, I can hold my own. And when something means enough, I don’t hold back. But it takes a lot out of me when I step into that. It stays with me, lingers… festers. It’s a long process to find my way back to the peace of mind I’ve worked hard to achieve and cherish at 66 years of age.

I avoid politics like the plague; not something I typically write about. But this post brought me front and center with current political issues,; namely gun laws. After I let that simmer, I began to like that people were reaching back out with their comments and demands for reform. I thank Kurt for his brilliant response (check out my website to read his comments.)

It turns out my minor discomfort was worth the gain to help me find my voice. Without apology, being a San Francisco native growing up in the flower-power era, I’m a bleeding-heart liberal and always will be. Frankly, I wear that badge proudly. But I believe that being raised in the Bay Area during that time also came with learning to always be open to new ideas, differing ideas, and conflicting beliefs. It’s such a beautiful part of the San Francisco culture. 

I actually support gun enthusiasts’ rights to bear arms. I think though that we need to reform our laws to protect our citizens and, sadly, our children. We can do this. We can write bills that work for all of us. We can come together as parents and siblings and children, gun enthusiasts, and flower children alike, write laws that make sense, and begin to implement a system that is moving toward a safer world for our children. 

Will it resolve all of the problems? No. There will always be someone who can get their hands on a gun. But it can help us move in the right direction. We owe this to our children and ourselves. 

I acknowledge that changing our gun laws is not the only answer. It’s only a part of the solution. The troubled avenger is also a victim in our current culture. No one is looking out for these individuals. In our quest for bigger better, we have lost sight of the suffering around us; and frankly the numbers defeat us. And if we do happen to notice, we decide it’s not our problem or our business. 

But it is. I’m going to link a post I read recently that put things in perspective for me, Weeding Baby Wendell. It’s such a lovely read. I’m asking you to read a lot, but go with me on this one. I think you will be glad you did. The writer’s name is Stuart M. Perkins, and the link is https://storyshucker.wordpress.com/. I love everything he writes. He takes me back to what’s important.

To follow up on Stuart’s remarkable post, let me say that I rarely swear in my writing, but this problem we face isn’t that fucking hard if we can come together and quiet our egos. Let’s remember what made America great… differing views and the ability to learn from each other, balance, achieve, change, grow, and a reminder from Stuart, to help each other. Together we are a magical force. 

We’ve been battered the last decade. Never doubt though that the fiber that binds us remains intact; it’s just a little tattered. 

My prayer…

I hear you.

Please hear me.

I respect you.

Please respect me.

I have faith in you.

Please have faith in me.

I believe in equality for all.

Please believe with me.

I am my brother’s/sister’s keeper.

Please be mine.

I will always defend your rights.

Please defend mine.

Let’s remember who we are.

We are the United States.

I’m still proud to be an American citizen. 

Please join me in remembering and moving back toward that amazing strength. Life is always about one step forward, two steps back, three steps forward. It’s a dance, a waltz, a jig. No shame in moving backwards to get the steps right.

14 Comments

  1. Thank you for the link to Stuart Perkins’ blog. The 15 simple words his grandmother used to say hit home. I have so much respect for one who leads by example. I appreciated sharing your about a too divisive National issue on everyone’s mind. As for me, I would have omitted the f-bomb.

    • Vicki,
      Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed Stuart’s blog post. He’s a gem. I’m glad you appreciated the subject matter of the post, and thank you for your feedback regarding my use of the f-bomb. As you likely know, it’s unusual for me to use profanity in my posts. As I proofread the post a number of times, I did debate changing the word. But something inside me felt the need to express my severe angst so I stayed the course, for better or worse, lol! But this exchange will segue nicely into my next post which I wrote actually at the same time I wrote “Thoughts and prayers.” Stay tuned.

  2. Hi Sue
    I enjoyed reading your blog and the short story about baby Wendell. I am a huge fan of “random acts of kindness”
    Great story ❤️

    • Thank you Pat! Safe travels my friend.

  3. Great posts and great reads! Yes, we can do this. I’m not sure how long it will take and how painful the forces will make it, but we’ve gotta have hope.

    • Yes, we need to keep that hope alive! It will take time, probably lots of time. But any journey is one step at a time.

  4. Thank you, Sue. A gorgeous, undeniable plea to us all.

    • Thank you, Sallie.

  5. Hi Sue, thanks for your recent posts and the link to Stuart’s site. I’m sorry I haven’t had much to say here recently. I often find it difficult to come up with the right words in the face of such sadness.

    • Paul,
      I’m happy to hear you enjoyed Stuart’s site. He’s a gem. No apologies are necessary from you. I also find it difficult, as I think most people do. Sometimes I manage to put my words on the page. Sometimes I don’t. Thoughts and prayers also work 🙂

      • Thanks for your kind words Sue. I felt quite down on Sunday when I posted my comment, as I’d just found a hedgehog downed in the small pool in my garden. I’ve continued to put food out the last couple of nights, and happily I’ve discovered at least one hedgehog in the vicinity. Life moves on.

        • Oh, critters have a way into our hearts! A few years back we had a nest of swallows in one of our birdhouses. One of the babies would show its little face in the window of the house waiting for its mother to bring back food. I fell in love with that little face, and to this day I miss it. But luckily we’ve got plenty of wildlife to enjoy. I saw my first fawn of the season today running across our field. You are kind to put out the food!

  6. Enjoyed your article and the read by Stuart. My Mom always did unnoticeable random acts of kindness all of her life. One that stood out, if a parking meter was about to expire, she would put a quarter in the meter!

    • That’s lovely. And it’s no wonder she raised such a kind daughter!


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