I am definitely not a “ride” person. I’ll hold your coats at the State Fair, while you experience the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Crazy stuff that throws off your equilibrium, and I’ll stay with the baby when you go on Splash Mountain at Disney World. I’ve done both. You see, as a kid who always got car sick up to the age of about 12, I can tell you, I do not want to experience that horrible feeling by my own actions. It is just not fun to me. I marvel at people who can do it, it’s just not my thing.
The grandkids laughed with me when we went with Grandpa on the Teacup Ride. I told them since I was a little girl, I always wanted to go on that ride. I saw it on the old Mickey Mouse Club (the original). I told them I was so happy to get to do it with them. And with Grandpa. It was great fun. Until they ran to the next ride with their parents. It’s ok, I’m a dork and I know it. They still had fun and so did I.
Just before I sat down to write today, I heard Gayle Sayers died. You may not know who he was. He played football for the Chicago Bears back in the 1960s. He was from Omaha, and was very talented player. He was also an incredible man. He overcame a lot of adversity during his life. It’s sad he battled dementia instead of tacklers during his later years. He had a great deal of talent in all areas of his life. He graduated from Central High School, where he ran track and of course, played football.
You will want to find the movie “Brian’s Song” and watch it later. It was a Made for TV Movie produced depicting Gayle Sayers’ unlikely friendship with an Italian dude who happened to land as his room mate. Brian Piccolo fought hard to advance on the team, he competed with Sayers for everything. The two became friends when the team repealed it’s mandate to segregate players. It was about time
Watch the movie, you’ll learn Piccolo was diagnosed with cancer, his friend stood by his side. It was during this movie I heard a phrase, credited to Sayers, that I have loved since I was a young girl in my 20s. “God is First, My Family is Second, I am Third.” He wrote a book, called, “I Am Third.” Think I’d like to read it. The tv movie was later released in theaters, it was that good. Tearjerker, for everyone, even big, burly men.
I can’t help but think of what a great example this is for all of us. I am no expert on race-relations, I don’t pretend to be. I know people. And I know most people can find a common ground and a way or place to get along. I have some friends who are so Democratic they make Smurfs appear pale. Some are so Republican, they make a red state look pale pink.
I don’t care any about either of those affiliations, just as I don’t care what religion you are. What I do care about is how you treat people. I care about if you say one thing and act another. I care if you spew hate on Facebook or in person. I care if you use language that is racist. As a young child, I was taught the “N” word was the most horrible way to refer to a person. That has not changed. I abhor the word and the intent that goes with using it.
I am a registered Republican, that may change. Until 2001, I was an Independent, which I may return to. Don’t hassle me about my political party. If you do, it shows more about you than about me. Name calling is not the way to make me listen to you. I have a broad spectrum of what I’ll accept in society and in the people around me. I’m accepting and open. I’ll trust you until I find out I can’t. Then, shame on me. If you make blanket statements, “Republicans are Satanic,” or “Democrats are stupid,” you are part of the problem. No group – whites, blacks, hispanics, democrats, or republicans are all one thing.
Sentences that begin with, “All _______;” “________ always _____;”or my all-time favorites, “Pollacks are stupid,” “Irishmen are all drunks,” “Italians are greasy.” We can no longer hear those ethnic put-downs. I must say, I don’t know of anyone who was bothered by them. We were all disparaged by other ethnic groups. Even the Catholic Churches in Omaha separated themselves by ethnicity. The Irish Catholics went to St. Bridget’s, the Croation Catholics went to St. Peter and Paul, the Polish Catholics to ICC (Immaculate Conception Church), and so on.
Separating into groups like that creates competitions in certain aspects that is good. Sports is one that is good. Sooner or later the rivalry can change to something negative. For instance, being from South Omaha (my family’s part of the city) was looked down upon. We were proud blue-collar workers, and many of stayed while white flight was happening. Soon, some of the schools fell behind. The Catholic schools could not stay open (no money), the public schools are bursting at the seams, and many people of color and poor whites had to stay.
Myself, I moved from the area to keep my kids out of trouble. Gangs were forming in the late 1980s, and I was a single mom. I moved my kids to keep them safer. Being among the poorest people at an advantaged school district was no picnic, believe me. Add to that a single parent family, and you have the modern day prejudices I’ve experienced. It ran deep in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s still there, as near as I can tell.
Yes, things need to change. Everyone needs to learn to be civil. I believe nothing else can happen until that does. We have agreed to not talk politics among our friends at the VFW Post. We have started there. I’d much rather blend us together than concentrate on our differences. It makes life hard and tense. We are there to befriend our fellow Veteran families and help those in need. The Post does a great job of that, in my opinion. Start today. Accept someone because of your similarities, not their differences.
Thanks for reading – I appreciate it so very much. Make it a good day. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We’ll all be OK. Seriously. Be Kind. Be Civil. Be the Change.