Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A challenge for those who really want to love where they live...or Embracing "the Golden Rule"

This idea of mine is really still forming, but it is how I have been thinking about life for a while now. I don't want to get all political. I vote, I encourage people to vote and I sometimes am idealistic enough to believe that it makes a difference. (See, the cynicism is always there, trying to find a way to get me down.) BUT, I want to issue a challenge to each of the 3-5 people that read this little blog:

Stop waiting for someone else to start it, WE need to MAKE our home/community/state/country/world someplace that WE would like to LIVE.

OK, so it sounds a bit vague, but let me flesh it out for you. I am really tired of being fearful about the world that my kids (and myself) are living in. There is only so much that I can control, and the things that I can control are these:

1)The way that I treat people. (They can be rude or whatever, but if I respond in kind it ends up making me feel even worse.)

2)The way that I see people. (I am a mom, I love my kids...other people are parents too, hey, I bet they love their kids too. That there is some common ground that I think WE can build upon.)

3)Speaking up when I see things that are great and speaking up when I see things that are not right. (It may seem cliche, but a smile and a genuine "thank you" at the grocery store/coffee shop/drive-up/where ever is only going to make someone feel better.)

I want my kids to grow up in a community/country/world where if we get separated and they are scared that some nice mom or dad is going to help them find you know what I am going to do....if I see a crying child, I am going to help them get safe. I am going to encourage my kids to be polite to people and say "please" and "thank-you" because I like it when people are civil to each other. Also, when I am at the park with my kids, I talk to other kids like they are real people not "just kids", because I think that my kids deserve that as well. I think that we all do.
So, this is not some totally "designed" manifesto, it is raw, but there are so many little things that we can do every day to make our surroundings better, not only for ourselves but for our neighbors and our children.
**Note to you cynics who want to write me off as some "Pollyanna-type"**
I know that there are Bad Bad things and Bad Bad people out there....I read the paper and watch the news...but there is more good, it just doesn't get publicized. Let's not take it for granted, let's not perpetuate apathy in future generations. I am challenging you and all of your friends and friend's friends to get out, enjoy your community, treat people like you would like to be treated.



Lazy Gal Tonya said...

I do try to follow all those rules. Not always successfully. I'll tell the cashier if she's undercharged me or given me too much change. I try to smile and be friendly, but sometimes I get a bit oblivious I'm afraid.

Lovely sentiments, but hey, what about that quilt! Is that one of yours? It's gorgeous.

emilyruth said...

go jmb go!
i agree!

one time i watched this dateline
(or one of those shows)
about people at the park
& they set up a fight between kids
to see what people would do
if they would help or ignore it
& some ignored
& some helped
after that i decided to help
& now i do
& this little post sounds so self congratulatory
but anyway
i agree with you
i want to stand up for being kind

thanks jmb you are great;)

Sue in western WA said...

Whose great quilt is that?! Love it!

Diane said...

Lovely post! It made me think of this:

If there is light in the soul,
There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world.

Chinese Proverb

Yaz and Rob said...

Ok, I am with ya. To now live in a culture where I do feel the way you want for your kids is really sureal. I feel and know that when I am out and one of my kids is lost that everyone will look out for them and make sure they are safe. Actually, this happened to Saniya at the library the other day and I felt so good to be in Sweden and not say, Spain. I think in Eugene it is a welcoming feeling around children and their safety. Well, I hope so. I see a great deal of American culture to be this paranoia that everyone is perverted and that time is one's more important to themselves than to give it to another in a courtesy or polite sentiment. Stick with the polite and giving and the not so busy. I think this is the best for our future.