Tag Archives: kindness

On the occasion of a horrendous election pending and the women v women way we behave


grandma1

Organizing yet another bake sale to fund the hospitals the men wouldn’t let women earn money to build

Ah, women.

I am one, I think, and yet I am filled with puzzlement at them. I have a group of marvelous women friends who I adore. We all would come running to whomever needed support, would offer casseroles, muffins, homemade soup, a warm shoulder to cry upon. My friends keep me alive, make me laugh, give me joy.

But many would leave the recipient’s house, commenting to each other, “Well, I wouldn’t have dealt with things THAT way,” or, “Where’s that man of hers? Why doesn’t he help?” or “Did you see what state her house is in?”

how-to-not-gossip

“Can you imagine?”

It’s the same thing that makes some (never me, I simply don’t care) rearrange the dishwasher if someone else loads it, that makes us repack suitcases for children and men, that sighs at the general incompetence of everyone except us.

It’s why women who succeed are universally regarded with suspicion – by other women! – and why we have never been able to fully mobilize to take back our rights from abusers and others. I still think the best way to frighten abusers into submission is to show up en masse

women-protesting

“Whose that over there throwing stones at us? Is that Gladys?”

at court dates and funerals of those harmed and stand there, as the police do, a physical and huge threat. We are over half the population. But no one will do that because of the sneaking suspicion that the woman might have somehow deserved it – after all, he’s so sweet…and he might like us. Heck, we might even date him. He wouldn’t hurt US.

So here we are in the midst of an American Presidential election between a career politician woman (gasp! No!) who is somewhat more terrifying than all the male career politicians (somehow that is okay, though slightly sleazy), and on the opposition, an utter boor. And he is still in the picture, though everyone is hoping he’ll step down and

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“My name is Mike Pence and I own your uterus!”

let a truly evil man take his place, one who talks smoothly with the tongue of repression, rather than revealing his slithering insides.

Well, say many, at least it wouldn’t be a WOMAN. Sadly, even women say this, their envy of success being so poisonous against their own gender that it blinds them to the fact she is better qualified than anyone else who ever stood for the office. And allowing them to accept men who openly or quietly demean women, treat their bodies like possessions, shut them out of top positions, keep them virtual slaves.

I can’t help but feel enraged, though I know the green fire of jealousy burns in me, too.

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Happy green

So how can we fix this seemingly permanent line in our nature? Can we erase the poisonous green and replace it with a kinder, springier one?

I’ve met some women who have. One of whom left us this week – my brother-in-law’s sweet mother – one of the kindest women I’ve met, with a belief in her faith that must have been her weapon against jealousy. Unlike many faithful, she never used it as a hammer with strangers. She simply did good.

I know another few women who do this, who step back from selfishness and do good in their quiet way. I love them all and struggle to be more like them.

But much as I love them, I wish we women would get together, stop doing good quietly, and take over the world up front. Enough quietly rearranging the dishwasher in the background, while sighing in exasperation. Let’s teach our fellow world inhabitants how to do things right. As with these quiet good women, we can show by example, but frankly that’s not working well enough. A thousand people tidying the Titanic wouldn’t have saved it from sinking. A woman who knew how to drive the boat who was able to wrest control from the men who blustered their way in charge might have. It’s time for women to do some blustering.

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“If only there was a smarter person to take charge! One without breasts!”

But you know what? Probably in the lifeboats (of which there would have been enough because, um, planning), other women would be whispering, “Who does she think SHE is? She should mind her own business.” And the men would be shouting four letter words and commenting about breasts.

I despair.

 

Well, phew!!!


1a69359f28c0274c5ec8fdf474ee241c_grumpy-cat-christmas-695Deep breath.

It’s over.

Another season of forced heartiness, expense, and smarminess. Another season of “this was the year that was” and reviews of the %@%$*&%@ federal election here in Canada, which went on too long beforehand and shows signs of dragging on (please God, no!).

I had some lovely times over the holidays (Christmas with my son and his delightful partner in Kitchener, and their associated family), and some horrid times. Try as I may, I just can’t seem to keep myself from spending New Year’s reviewing the past year and realizing how very little I’ve accomplished in the grand scheme of things.

Sure, I made and sold over 100 small furry creatures.I created. That’s something. I did some volunteer work, walked miles, travelled to NYC, did some writing, went dancing, raised some money, toured Nova Scotia. I read over 100 books. I played my ukulele, and knit, both adequately.

But I’m feeling barren, as if it was all for naught.

Was I good enough? Did I help others enough? Was I kind enough, patient enough, did I give of myself enough?

There’s a dimension missing, a dimension that needs filling.

And I’m not just talking about the severe lack of kisses this year. Which were rare. And I miss them. There’s a reason I’ve fought with my weight all these years. No kisses = more milk chocolate needed. I can’t explain the connection, but it’s right there.

But I digress. I think I’m missing the spiritual connection. I’ve felt it, moments when I’ve been walking outside in a forest or by the beach or even along a busy street, when I’ve felt the hand of god or whoever she is. Times when I have heard music (See: Barra MacNeils) when I’ve been transported, pushed to another level of being. Times when I’ve laughed so hard I could barely breathe and happiness flew out of me.┬áTimes when I’ve been dancing and found a giggle in the heart of my being that is pure, unadulterated joy. The well. The well from which all goodness and cheer springs.TheWell

I’m having trouble refilling that well. The opening seems smaller as I age, and yet I’ve vowed I would rather spend my later years as a giggling outspoken and shocking gal than a crusty negative one. I’d rather be considered teetering on insanity than wallowing in cynicism, and yet….

You see, there are SO MANY people telling us that the world is awful, we are all going to die, the earth is burning up, we are killing ourselves to death, there’s too much crime and people are terrible.

It may be true. But the world is also beautiful, we were all going to die anyway, the earth will return to normal as soon as we are all killed off, crime is falling, and most people are kind, though ignorance seems to be multiplying.

See, I can’t even get through one paragraph without making a cranky remark.

The question is, is all of this negativity helping anything? I’d argue no. It simply makes people angrier and less pleasant and spins the earth in an ever more negative spiral.

So maybe it’s okay that I am merely doing small things and not taking on huge projects or leading the debate into the fray. Maybe just being cheerful and helpful is enough. Maybe if we all were like this things would be better. I dunno. I can’t speak or act for anyone, and I long ago learned you can’t change anyone else’s behaviour except through legislation or threat of imminent demise (see: public health initiatives), so there’s not much point in my railing at things.

Seems small, and insignificant. But my well is small at the moment. This seems to be all I can do. So I hereby vow to go about smiling when I can and spreading my little bit of Pollyanna-ish cheer. It can’t hurt, it might help.

And meanwhile, I’ll do some well expansion, feed my spiritual side, get outside more, breathe deep.

images-2hmm. May still be missing the point…;-)