Up until now, I’ve steered clear of weighing in about what’s currently dividing our country. I haven’t said anything because some would say I don’t have a dog in this fight.
After all, I’m white, and I’m a married woman of middle class income…I’m not in the demographic.
But I do have kids that I’m raising to be compassionate adults, so, yeah…this affects me.
And though I can’t truly put myself in someone else’s shoes, I’ve watched friends along the way. One, in particular, is very inspirational.
Before I was married, and I was newly out on my own, I wasn’t yet middle class, and I certainly wasn’t living in a middle class neighborhood. That’s when I met one of my friends. She was from a “broken” home, grew up in a gang, lived out of her car at times, and had her first child the day after she turned 17. Her family told her she’d be pregnant by the time she was 16, but she proved them wrong…by a day.
We lived next door to each other in an apartment complex. It was the kind that was built in a square with a pool in the middle, so everyone knew each other’s business. She confessed later that the first day she saw me, she sat on her porch making fun of me because I was laying shelf paper and cleaning up the place the day before I moved in. She assumed I was one of those rich kids (because I was white), and she judged me. I told her I never judged her, I didn’t even know her. #truth
We got to be good friends, and still are today. Her life has the makings of a novel. I should really ask her if I could write her story one day. It would be a privilege to do so.
Fast forward some 20 years, and she’s now a successful accountant, a single mother of 4 kids, and just bought her own home in a good neighborhood. So how did she make it?
One of the biggest things that made a difference in her life was the ability to pull her self up, and surround her self with people that would hold her accountable. People that spurred her on to success, that encouraged her and offered her a hand up instead of a hand out. And to ignore the people who said otherwise.
At one point, she was living in her car, and her boss told her that he wanted her to keep her job, but that she couldn’t keep living in her car. He helped her find a place to stay until she could pay him back. She made good on that promise because he held her accountable. I believe they are still friends today.
She went on to go to college, all on her own, no help from anyone, and got a degree and dumped the lame husband.
To look at where she is now, you would have no idea where she was at one time. It’s amazing and it’s inspirational.
So, you’re right…I don’t have a dog in the fight. I’ve never been homeless, I had my kids after I was married, and my family believed in me all by the GRACE OF GOD. But I’m not completely blind and stupid.
I teach my kids that if you want something in this life, if you want something to change in your life, you have to go out and make it happen, even if your own family tells you that you can’t. You have to be responsible to yourself and to others. We all have at least that much in common. And it’s a good place to start. Yelling won’t get you what you want, it won’t make people listen. But your own personal success will. No one can argue with success, and no one can take it away from you. You OWN that.
Wishing everyone the best and praying we can get past this mess soon. I hope I haven’t offended or spoken out of turn. That was not my intention. I agonized over posting this, afraid of the potential comments.
Like everyone else, I just want this world to be a better place for my kids and yours. And I think we can do that…correction…I KNOW we can do that.