Monday, September 26, 2005

Postcards from the Past

My memories of my childhood are those of a lower-middle-class family. I was raised by southern parents who were taught and who taught me, to value people for people and not for color, or social status . To work hard and there will always be a tomorrow, there isn't any such thing as a free lunch, be responsible for yourself because that's where the buck really stops. And to do good.

I believe in RESPONSIBILITY and I do not need the government to go overboard to take care of me. Social security, you bet I support it! Using it to do other what was intended, no!. Like shore up the coffers of Wall Street. No way. I worked, I paid my part in. I don't need any politician telling me what I should be doing with it. I can take care of that part thank you very much.

I believe in personal accountability where I am responsible for my own actions and where I will not blame the shortcomings and disappointments of this life on someone else.

But I also believe in helping out your neighbor and not make him feel ashamed while your doing it. Because you know the day may come when he'll do the same for you.

I believe not all men are created equal. Except maybe in God's eyes.
The rich are rich, and the poor are poor. There's no shame in being poor, nor should there be pride in being rich. . I know very, very few poor folks who ever got rich. I know even fewer rich folks who've ever been poor. Poor can be as much a state of mind as a financial status.
My Grandaddy was the richest man I knew, and he never owned more than the clothes on his back.
My father-n-law was a fairly well to do man, but he was a miserable, miserly, lonely old man. He died alone. Only one of his sons got very much of his money. He's now an overweight, sick, drunk who can't even drive the fancy cars he owns.

To say that anyone can be rich by simply working hard is a lie. It's a slap in the face of every man and woman who's worked hard everyday of their lives only to succeed in barely living above the poverty level. Real hard work is seldom rewarded with wealth. If it were, farmers, factory workers, teachers, policemen, firemen, nurses and cashiers would be as wealthy as doctors, lawyers, and bankers. In fact if hard work were how one attained wealth, doctor's, lawyers, and bankers wouldn't be the wealthy ones.

I remember a time when on Sunday afternoons my family would all climb into the family car (Daddy had an old pickup truck but nobody rode in that ugly beast but him and the boys), and go for a Sunday afternoon drive. We started this family tradition when we were living overseas. It was the day when we got to get out into the neighboring cities and contryside to see how 'other folks' lived. There always seemed to be some new backroad, or city street we hadn't been down. Something new and interesting to be seen. At least it seemed so through the eyes of a child. I loved sitting on my knees, facing backwards looking out the rear window.
And people loved us. Everywhere we went. They loved talking to us and would almost always ask if we were from the 'South'. Even in Germany and France, they reconized that southern drawl .
Yesterday, I thought I'd take myself another one of those Sunday afternoon drives. It's been awhile and now I remember why. First of all, the ride isn't nearly as much fun if your the driver. One simply can't enjoy the nooks and crannies when one has to watch out for other drivers ( and dictches). But most of all it's the cost. I simply can't afford to drive aimlessly around anymore. Twenty dollars in gas won't take you far when your paying $2.72 a gallon. Alas another childhood pleasure assigned to the memory bank.
Why do I get this sinking feeling our country is headed in the wrong direction? When we value people for their wealth, and have so little compassion for those who have so little to call their own.
Sometimes I feel so old.


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