Another week and another Writer's Workshop...these were the prompts. Be sure to run by Mama Katt's place and play along with the group.
1.) Define goodness...joy...sorrow...and anger using pictures you've taken.
2.) Tomorrow I will do it differently. Here's how...
Wake up on time...snooze five minutes less.
3.)Describe a 'sound' from your childhood. What was it? When did you hear it? What does it bring to mind?
The sound is a paddle striking my butt. It brings pain. That is all.
4.) I remember when...
5.) Right now is the best time to start. What's your first step?
To the Fridge to get a beer. I'll start tomorrow.
I remember when we had recess. I remember compulsory nap time and when the biggest responsibility I had involved homework. I remember spankings and hugs. I remember being taught (with extreme prejudice) that men held doors open for women, to look both ways before crossing the street, that guns are tools that can kill, and that cars are similar to guns. I was taught that life is not a video game. That what I do does matter to the people around me. I remember when I drove to school with two rifles on my gun rack and nothing was ever mentioned about it. I remember a time before Columbine.
I remember when sports was more innocent. The heroes or villains came to life on the TV. The Babe could hit a baseball to the moon and we didn't hear how he could drink an ocean of bourbon. The nicknames were almost comic book like in their sound..Captain America and Broadway Joe to give a couple of examples. That controversy in sports was limited to 'Should we have the Designated Hitter?' or 'Should instant replay be used?' Steroids was something used only for medical reasons and dog fighting was only done in 3rd world countries.
I remember when adults were treated with a bit more respect. As an educator, I have no idea how it happened that a kid has more power in the school district than any employee. I remember when we were punished 'for our own good.' I also remember that few days went by without licks being given. I remember when Americans were more interested in teaching their children to survive in this world. How parents taught their children that life isn't always fair and that to be a man (or a woman) living in this world, you had best understand it. I remember when folks looked at their situations and thought 'How can I better myself?' not 'What does this country owe me because ___________'.
I remember when America was the trendsetter. Before 1776 no other country had a plan like the one we were proposing. In 1787 when things were going badly in America, we had the balls to rip the whole thing up and start all over. I remember a time when the rest of the world looked to us to solve problems. Whether it be World War II or the response to Communism we were always the leader. I remember when we didn't fear risk or pissing a few people off. Sure, I also remember the failings of this attitude...slavery and the Trail of Tears....but I also remember the great successes of this stance....D-Day and the Declaration of Independence. I remember when socialism was a dirty word in this country and where people would laugh out loud at the very thought of emulating any other country in anything. (Like health care or education)
Oh, yeah, I Remember the Alamo.
I remember learning that life is fleeting. From the works of Shakespeare to the westerns of Clint Eastwood, I learned that death awaits just around the corner. I remember that this is what makes human beings special. This foreknowledge of our fate allows...no...forces us to live life to its fullest. The 'gift' of knowing our mortality separates us from the other creatures...well, that and opposable thumbs and a driver's license. I remember the people who have left before me. I remember my grandparents who showed me that dignity and honor in life is greater than gold. I remember my best friend who in the midst of disease that was slowly and painfully killing him before his thirtieth birthday, never asked 'Why me?' and gave me an example of Christianity that will never leave me. I remember a brother in law who was killed as his wife was pregnant with his new son. I remember it every day.
Finally, I remember that the true gift of this life is love. It is the most valuable commodity we have. Wealth can be spent and health can fade away, but true love is the most enduring thing in this life. This is somethiing God has seen to bless me with and it is something that I am everyday thankful for. When I look at Jill I see understanding and something that is deeper than I sometimes can comprehend.
On days that drift into negativity it's a good think that I can remember.
Shameless promo....First 5 Friday will deal with the one the only SNEAKY MOMMA and her eccentricities. So, tune in Friday for 'em.