I read this in a wonderful blog this morning that spoke straight into my heart:
A rich industrialist was horrified to find a fisherman lying comfortably beside his boat, smoking his pipe.
“Why aren’t you out fishing?” asked the industrialist.
“I’ve caught enough fish for the day,” said the fisherman.
”Why don’t you catch some more?”
”What would I do with them?”
”Earn more money. Then you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into deeper waters to catch more fish. That would bring you money to buy nylon nets, so more fish, more money. Soon you would have enough to buy two boats, even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me!”
“What would I do then?” The fisherman asked.
”Then you could sit back and enjoy life!”
”What do you think I’m doing right now?”
I was actually formulating a blog of my own, and having difficulty putting into cohesive thoughts when I read this, here:
Gloriosity! I am not alone!
My family is full of people who have been successful in business. Many are college educated, and many who were not were still 'hard workers' who climbed the ladder of success and have all of the rewards one would expect from such a life; nice homes, nice cars, kids in college, exotic vacations. They have made their lives into what they had always wanted them to be. For them, they are successful.
They are a generally kind bunch of folks, loving and all, but several of them have never understood why I was such a comparative failure. Why is it that Rhenda could never seem to progress? Why couldn't Rhenda ever get ahead? Why didn't Rhenda ever 'straighten up'? Because Rhenda was cut from the fisherman's cloth. I have wonderful news, friends and family. I am a raging success, far surpassing my hopes and dreams! I am set on the path that my heart would keep and I'm squarely in the middle of the will of God for my life. I am crazy successful! Be happy for me!
My husband and I have arrived at an age where we are considering our retirement. We are not old, but plans must be laid if you are to achieve the desired results, and I just ca not help but chuckle a bit when I think of what kind of reactions I might get from my family if they knew my plans. I would never cast them in a light that makes them seem haughty or judgmental. They are not. They are wonderful people. Given enough time to explain myself they would, in fact, understand, and probably be very happy for me even if they did think me a bit odd. That wouldn't be anything new.
There are many people out there, however, that presume to understand all there is to know about life, progress, happiness and success, and how one achieves them, who would not understand. Their lack of understanding would make me wrong and somehow substandard in their eyes. Some would try to force me to change. Maybe they'd send me for counseling or medication. Maybe they'd try to raise my awareness and send me for some kind of re-education. Some would just seek to legislate against 'me and my kind' because it's not normal and they can not abide my presence as it is.
I remember a news show I saw once. It was on FOX news' Bill O'Reilly show. Now, I don't think Bill O'Reilly is an evil man. There was a similar magazine type of a program by Diane Sawyer that gained a lot more notoriety, so I suppose I should mention it as well; spread the wealth. It just happened to be during the Bill O'Reilly piece that I began to put things together in my own mind.
Mr. O'Reilly was absolutely repulsed by the lifestyle that the Appalachian mountain people had chosen for themselves. 'They' were poor, and lived in hovels! 'They' needed care! The government was going to have to step in to help 'those' poor souls! 'They' lived in shacks out in the mountains and 'their' culture hadn't progressed for generations. Oh my! It was going to cost tax payers money for the government to go in there and change 'those' people, protect 'their' children and bring 'them' up to a more acceptable level.
Acceptable to whom? Bill O'Reilly? Diane Sawyer? The federal government? They did not ask for government help, so save your money. Their lives were of their choosing in a place and style that was traditional, comfortable and quite acceptable to them, but the government, and Bill O'Reilly, evidently, decided it wasn't a life worth having. So, as big government is wont to do, someone waltzed in and tried to put an end to their chosen lifestyle. I never heard the end results of their mission. Were they successful in reforming these unfortunates?
If it were any other established people group the liberals and bleeding hearts would be appalled! Can you imagine going into a traditional Native American village and forcing them to live like 'the rest of us decent people'? You would be on the front pages by evening and probably walking the plank by the next morning; that is, unless you are a medical volunteer who is stepping in and forcing them to receive pharmaceuticals that they have deemed necessary 'for the good of the community'. But that is a whole 'nuther blog...
Different is not dangerous, it is right! Leave them alone, for God's sake! The view and judgement of the powers that be and lack of understanding is nothing more than short sightedness on their part. They are the first people to tack the label of narrow or closed minded on to others, and most guilty among them. Take a deep breath! Take a nap! Take a hike!
I didn't mean for this to become a rant, but I guess it was one. Actually, I am very happy today. I am just hopeful that 'polite society' will allow me to pursue that goal.