Today is Wednesday, which means it’s time for the Inspirational word of the week.
1. of a good or benevolent nature, or disposition.
2. considerate or helpful.
3. mild, gentle.
The passage of the health care reform bill this past weekend got me to thinking about the word kind. Especially because at one time, back in 1975, my little sister and I were wards of the state of California.
My biological mother had just turned 17 years old (but was surprisingly married) when I was born. By the time my sister came along, almost 3 years later, my biological father was already headed out the door. I don’t really remember much about him, but I do remember my mother was devastated and completely lost. Although her family lived fairly close-by, they were extremely dysfunctional. She had gotten married early hoping that would fix all of her problems. Instead, she ended up alone with two daughters and no education.
We lived on welfare in downtown Fresno. I can remember watching her sit on the couch smoking cigarettes and staring out the window. She would be quiet and sad one moment, and then angry and looking for a switch the next. Although she loved us and did the best she could, ours was not a very happy home. Fortunately, her ultimate act of kindness was to give us up for adoption.
I remember her sitting me down in the kitchen to tell me about how the next day we were going to go live with some other people who were going to help us find new parents.
“I can’t take care of you anymore” she said. “So you need to be good and take care of your sister. She’s little and can’t look out for herself.”
I cried and promised to be good, but honestly, by the time we got into the car the next day to go to the foster care, I had completely forgotten about the whole conversation.
We all went to a house that had a really, big garden in the back, and a dog!
My sister and I got distracted playing with the dog and looking at all of the flowers while our mother quietly slipped away.
Before long, my sister started crying “where’s Mommy?”
The foster parents took us inside to calm us down.
The next thing I remember is sitting on the bed, looking at the sunset, listening to somebody’s radio playing John Denver’s “Sunshine on my shoulder” and crying. I still cry whenever I hear that song. Dammit, I’m crying now.
*2 tissues later*
I am so incredibly proud of my country, and I’m especially grateful to the kindness of the people who created the foster care system that carried me and my sister. The people of our government showed responsibiltiy, compassion and caring when they put together the social safety nets that supported us and allowed our adoptive parents to find us, later that year.
It really hurts my heart to hear other Americans screaming about how angry they are at the government. I’m not saying that some people in the government haven’t taken advantage of their power and exploited the system(oh boy did they!) Although there’s an endless list of things that need to be fixed, the underlying principle of our government is to take care of it’s citizens.
All of them.
Especially, the little ones who can’t take care of themselves.
We have to start somewhere. The passage of this health care reform bill is just a small step along the path.
I’m proud to be among the people of this country who really believes that we can and should do all we can to support our citizens. All of them. It’s our duty and our gift.
I’d love to ask all of the angry people to stop for a moment and realize that while they spend all of their time focusing on being angry and overwhelmed by everything that is wrong, they’re not focusing on taking care of themselves or their families. That’s not what they want to hear, but it’s true.
A person can’t think two separate thoughts at the same time.
While rage will eventually burn itself out, kindness heals.
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain
Kindness is the best place to start, no matter where you’re from.
*I focused my energy this week and finished up a burlap art project designed to remind me to be kind
The quote inside the “mouth” (made from Japanese ink stained paper and embossed copper) says
“To speak well of another is a blessing to all”.
The project is 3’wide x 4’long. It’s made from a burlap sack, purple, hand-dyed Mexican jute and green batik cotton fabric. It’s hanging from half of a pool cue. Purple pillow fringes make the hair. Green felt and fusible web with silver buttons make the eyes. Red feathers make the eyebrows. Half of a Brasilian seed pod makes the nose. I used black, silver, green, lavender, red and pearl white beads to decorate it. Purplish-blue eyelash yarn and white silk daisies make the hair. Overall, it probably took me 10 hours to put it together.
What do you think, my friendly blog reader?
Do you believe in the power of kindness? Do you think art can be healing? How about music?
I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments!
Thanks for reading along and I’ll be back on Monday with the Inspirational song of the week.
Have a wonderful weekend,