A quote by Andy Rooney who died a few days ago; “Most of us, use only a portion of our brains as we live our lives at half-speed and on schedule – sleeping when we are not tired, eating when we are not hungry. [But war changes all that] causing people to do things they didn’t know they could do.” from article on CBS news by Bob Schieffer, dated today.
Yesterday at an occupy event, Tim and I were talking about how dealing with difficulties, tragedy, hardship [and war] can be the impetus for growth in a person. I believe this very strongly because I’ve been through cancer twice [with 14 years between incidents- enough time to forget the terror]. Divorce with 5 children ages 3 and a half to 17, after 18 years of marriage and dreams deferred, until we’d “made it” in economic terms, which came after our divorce. The saying on the card at left; “Two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe,” by Albert Einstein.
Speaking of stupidity— you would have had to be on the corner with us yesterday at our local Occupy event. One driver gave us the finger, and Tim standing next to me waved with friendliness in return, stating perhaps the driver meant he, Tim, was number one. Then there was the driver who slowed down, almost stopping, in front of Tim [his lucky day, no doubt] and threw a $1 bill as if to demean us. Tim again treated this with a smile and a “thanks, we’ll give it to a homeless shelter.”
On the other hand, there were several donations of food brought to us, many cars that honked as they drove by, or gave thumbs up, or simply looked on in curiosity. We were a delightful blend of society, though mostly caucasian, ranging from ages 3 or 4 to mid-70’s; firm and infirm, male and female. And all of us able to understand that WE AMERICANS have a right and a duty to speak up in this participatory democracy, and that is what we were doing and will continue to do.
The local newspaper’s online edition included comments, some supportive and a few falling into the stupid category. I especially liked the ones that groused about our lack of employment. Completely off-target- we do this because it’s our right and privilege as citizens of the United States. Our message is equality, fairness, and compassion for others.
I am officially employed, though only part time. I take care of my adult disabled son ALL THE TIME. Never a day off. I also create/make and attempt to sell my artwork, though I usually don’t average more than $3,000. a year. [And I pay both sales tax and income tax on what I sell and earn.] At my next birthday I will have more opportunities to be eligible for a senior discount. While I’ve slowed a little, I have a working brain, and inquisitive nature, and a distrust of politicians, bankers, and “fat cats” who forget we’re not living in the middle ages.
All we want is economic opportunity. Most of us are not Steve Jobs or CEO of a bank or huge corporation. What are we? A cross section of folks as stated above, working for a better world. This year three women were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; 2 from West Africa and 1 from the Middle East. Why were they chosen? “…for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” [from http://www.nobelprize.org] Hallelujah, for such wonderful role models, uplifting ideals, and most especially in my mind, worthy lives spent attempting to raise up others.
Now wouldn’t we all like to say the same about our lives?