Some days I ask so much of you. I fear you may revolt against me. Yet the way you hold me together amazes me. I know it is difficult and sometimes you do so very reluctantly. I cause you a lot of stress sometimes. I know this… I am sorry. But you rarely fuss long and cause me problems. You are most flexible – I take you for granted.
But I won’t deny we have had our moments. Those times when you get out of sorts…just so disconnected. I get exasperated and take it out on you. I know that you are not at fault. But my own shortcomings are hard to face sometimes and I place the blame elsewhere. I take you for granted.
Tomorrow is another day. I will call upon you as I get ready for work. You will be there for me. I will promise you a thousand times that I will make life easier on you in the days to come. Hasn’t worked out so far has it? But I will try.
And when I grasp your pull and your teeth begin to clench- I will not take you for granted. Just make it to the stop for me without hesitation. We will then remain friends for another day. I thank you dear zipper and I will no longer take you for granted. I promise.
It becomes part of our being, hugging us like skin. Not something that you can slip off at night and toss on the floor with the clothing of the day. No, attitude is much deeper and harder to change. Attitude begins to grow within us as babies when we are introduced to the world around us. We learn to love, we learn to hate, we learn to discern as bad and good. Yet somewhere along the journey of life, some of us may find ourselves consumed with the negative…like straining to see in the dark of the night…only making out the bad things around us.
Many times a parent declares, “I don’t like your attitude” or “you need to change your attitude” without understanding how difficult this process of change can be… We are asking one to quickly morph into another… or face our consequences. Yet we as parents have helped define their attitudes. Combine that with the world we currently live in…wow it is a ticking time bomb. Take a moment and consider that children are living in a very complex world today. You and I may have walked a mile to school (I confess I did not) but we never dealt with the intensity and gravity of cyber bullying. We may have had to eat what was on our plate or go hungry ( I hated roast beef) yet we never felt the aggression and severe emotional pressure many kids of today experience. Today for fun, our children occupy their time with a never-ending visual stimulation of violence through our media and high def gaming videos. They kill with a deft handling the game a skill once acquired by playing jacks or marbles. They watch live social media capturing death, destruction, mayhem and violence. Some kids have had siblings, friends, parents die on the streets. Today doomsday preppers are glamorized on tv as they are proudly hording guns and ammunition…life and death, killing and survival concepts discussed as matter of fact like cooking shows and recipes. It has become a harsh world. Attitudes become armor to protect from that which is so difficult to deal with in life. And we are partially responsible as parents. As adults we become blind to the attitudes we carry as we strive to make the dollar, pay the bills and seek our own escape from the craziness. But we all travel with deep feelings and beliefs that keep us separated from each other. And we teach our children to do the same. Attitudes, they are so hard to change…
So what happens to tomorrow if there is not a positive shift in attitude? What happens if the adults do not begin to see that their bigotry, intolerance and closed minds are imprinted upon their children? I do not want to go there. Attitude…while deeply ingrained does carry ability to change. We see an epiphany realized by the family who adamantly declares strong anti-gay attitudes…until a loved one comes out. We see the ability to empathize during a natural catastrophe…as strangers extend a hand or even risk their life for another. Why is it only then that we are willing to see beyond the dark…why is it only then that we feel we are all a part of a larger whole? Those beautiful moments when a connection of respect for life of another is made with no thought of what is to be gained in return- action without attitude.
I often wonder why we wait until desperate times to rise above our attitudes. Why do we join the cause only after we feel personally affected by the war. Cancer, poverty, unemployment, inequality, gun violence, bullying, racism, sexual abuse, domestic violence, addiction…on and on they march in front of us. Our attitudes block us from the fight unless life has chosen to throw us through the ropes. Only then do many of us awaken and see that the fight is worthy. We take up our sword and add cause to our existence. But I ask, why wait?
It has been one of those days. The kind where I wonder if I got out of bed on the wrong side. The one where I seem to suck all the air out of the room with my stressful sighs- my meager attempts to relax and gain control over my emotions. Yes, it has been one of those days. I always feel a bit empty at the end of it all. My head a dry well of thoughts and unconnected to the present. I love living in the present. Stress steals me away and it is in these times that I really must work hard to find my way back home.
I won’t get into the details of my day. Hard to frame into a picture, the puzzle is very complicated and over 1,000 pieces. But I hold out hope that things will change. I admit I am stressed by my day and the heaviness and worries of my tomorrow. I understand that while I have the luxury of venting myself within these words, others are literally struggling to survive. I must humble myself to realize that my life is but one, my thoughts and concerns but mine. How they grow and prosper is up to me and how I tend them. I am already feeling a bit better. A bit more in the present. I know that tomorrow is another day, new challenges and new stresses that I must face. But they are not here yet, I hold them out before me with hope and determination that I will once again make it through and find my way back home.