the need for objectivity

The need for objectivity, for the view point of an unbiased and observant and stable person, in our lives, remains paramount.

I often charge blindly into the night, and the day, of my life, with little or no understanding of what it must be like to live with me. What it must be like to interact with me, or listen to me, follow me, lead me, or love me. To say that I move through my existence with blinders on would be accurate.

The need for a voice, for the reasoned opinion and observation of a trusted compadre, who could bring data to me about myself, who could make me aware of certain ruts and pitfalls that they see me fall in routinely, this need is great. It is a need that many of us reject, out of a desire for safety. And perhaps for good reason, due to being burned in the past by over-trusted and under-qualified voices, who perhaps were not healthy enough to speak into our lives.

But we should still search for and invite these types of  voices, especially those of our elders, who have taken a dozen more turns around the sun than we have, who have been to the war and back, who have struggled with, and overcome, the common enemies of our day. Enemies like low motivation, or greed, or selfish living.

Finding a trusted voice, a tested and true voice, can be difficult and dangerous, but it is worth doing. Our futures will be carved by our own hands, but we cannot get far enough back from our work to get a long view of where we are headed. Mentors and elders can do that for us.

A little honor for a great lady

     I saw a woman who gave beyond her ability. She took what little she had and gave it, to me, to my wife, and to my children. She gave even when in pain. I watched her wince, from agony, while playing cards with my children, but she let on like nothing had happened, and kept playing.  For years.
     I don’t know how to love like that, but she showed me the way.
     I saw a woman struggle to lift her children above herself, to push them ahead, trying to shake off the scales of poverty and blindness and abuse. She came from almost nothing, and spent the best years of her life trying to create something of value for her family.
     I didn’t know how to live like that, but she showed me the way.
     And I saw a woman pour out affection like a swollen river after a heavy April rain, aiming it at a child who was misunderstood, and misaligned, a child disfigured in speech and body and behavior.
     Even though this child was my own, I did not know how to love like that. But she showed me the way. My mother-in-law, who is gone.
     I miss her, and honor her, and thank her.
     Anne Helmick.