Here we go, Day Four. A list of the things I care about, keeping it as local as possible.
- My family. I want them to be well and healthy and making themselves happy with their lives.
- Education, and in particular helping kids get a solid foundation so that they’re ready when they DO figure out what they want to do. Because good heavens, it takes TIME. Most of us don’t know at age 8 what we want to be when we grow up. I hate the idea of any kid feeling limited or defeated because they didn’t have it all pulled together as a teenager. That’s a terrible thing. Also, exposing kids to lots of ideas, lots of possibilities, lots of different ways of thinking and doing and being. They don’t have to love them all. They have to know that there are OPTIONS and that there’s something out there beyond what they know as “normal.” “Normal” is pretty wretched for a lot of kids.
- Reading, both doing it and making sure other people have the access and ability to do it. Being illiterate is a prison, and it’s unacceptable that anyone should suffer it in our country.
- Dogs. Animals, in general, really. I abhor ASPCA commercials, but I believe in their work. One of the most horrifying things in the universe is the thought that anyone could intentionally hurt an animal, for any reason. The idea of it is terrifying.
- Grocery carts. This is not THE only (story for another time), but ONE of the only things that has ever made me lose my composure, but once – recently even – I did yell at a woman for not putting her grocery cart away. To explain it fully, she WALKED her cart AWAY FROM HER OWN CAR and left it in some empty spaces that were MAYBE A TWENTY FEET FROM THE CART CORRAL. I feel silly writing “cart corral” or even admitting that I yelled at someone for this, because yelling at someone is really such a self-important, obnoxious and really totally ineffective behavior. But I did it before I even thought. I was walking my cart to the corral, saw her do this and yelled, “REALLY? You’re going to LEAVE that there?” She didn’t even acknowledge me. Smart lady. Me? Less smart. I know.
- Kindness. You won’t believe this after my last story, but really I almost never yell at anyone. Giving people the benefit of the doubt, remembering that you have NO IDEA what they’re going through or have endured in their lives, is the most important thing we can do as humans. Yes, not returning your cart is irresponsible, self-centered and terrible example for any child who might see you. But who knows what kind of day that lady had had? Maybe she was shopping after a day at the hospital bedside of someone she loves. I’ve been that person recently. Who am I to judge?
…. yeah, it’s a stretch. It still pisses me off. But I’m TRYING here, people. Work with me.