Hearts and Minds
I am not sure when i began to care about something other than myself. I know I was very young, and always thought and was probably taught that it wasn’t appropriate to only care about yourself. That it would have been vain or conceited. I can remember visiting my “Aunt Jenny” with my Grandma. She lived across the street from my childhood home . I think I was around eight years old. Aunt Jenny said about me, “she’s going to break alot of hearts” and my Grandma responded, “don’t tell her that, she’ll get a big head”. Later on I learned what a big head meant, but I still understood at that moment it wasn’t a good thing to love yourself. There really wasn’t any fear of that happening. In fourth grade I was already considering stepping off the curb in front of a car on my way home from school. I waited until I was eighteen to finally take a handfull of pills and leave a note of apology to my parents. I know I was a big disappointment. I wasn’t going to be a famous singer or get into a college because even though i excelled in English, i could not pass Algebra. I was just too dumb to get the Math. It was the sixties though, and there was alot more going on including going to Woodstock and experimenting with all kinds of drugs. I found new friends ,alot of them, just like me. Not the preppy kid rich kids who’s mom and dad takes care of all their needs including a boat. But the fun working class kids, who piled in cars and headed off to the Town Beach for a day of sunbathing and music and swimming in the surf.
I am happy I had my mind and spoke it. Not with the fervor I do today, but it was always working and questioning why? Today I find myself frustrated and thinking about that little girl of long ago after a weekend of sun and fun with old friends. They and their friends are so far removed from my husband and myself as some of those kids I knew back in high school 43 years ago.
We are still working class, although in the educational field, no six figure income here I’m afraid. It doesn’t matter though, I have things in my life that money can’t buy. I still care about events and people other than myself. Our land, the poor, the uneducated, the people I see that live here in rural America with no teeth because dental care is just too damn expensive,the sick and elderly.
The people I met this weekend did not know what was going on in the world outside of their own, or seemed to have gotten their information from Fox News. The women could not talk about anything except shopping, and their grandkids, and poor Paula Deen and trips they are planning. They also would have some complaints about what they thought the “have nots” were receiving though not deserving. I felt that fire inside, the one that burned when I was a teenager, the one flame that has never been snuffed out. I know I shouldn’t care so much that it makes me sick to my gut but I do. I still don’t know why? I never got that big head, or maybe I did. Maybe it’s big with thoughts and questions that sometimes make me crazy, but the good thing is I know I’m not alone. All I have to do is read and research and find answers from those who are alot smarter than I am,and I have no problem deferring to them. All who have” hearts and minds”