Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Changing Perspective


Question:  Has your perspective on one or many topics recently wavered due to a life event:  marriage, divorce, parenthood, death of a loved one, negativity on TV, etc.?  I'm not sure if my hormones are to blame or if everyone goes through the changes I'm experiencing when they are a month or less away from becoming a parent!  

Over the past week, the same blog post title kept entering my conscience though the actual subject matter has morphed into something other than what I intended to originally write about.  The entire post was going to be about a woman I met last week and what she has gone through being a single mom of a 10-month old little boy who has two holes in his heart.  Having a child with health concerns is enough to make anyone crazy but where her story inspired me is that she is a single Mom by choice and made the decision to not take any sort of assistance from either the government or Good Samaritan type organizations that often help those with financial restraints.  She works in the nail salon where I get manicures and pedicures and is on commission.  I can only assume she doesn't make much money but has chosen to save what she does make and take care of her son.  It was amazing to hear her story, told in such a manner that she was not looking for praise or sympathy but rather very "matter-of-fact" about how she lives her life.  The only "help" she does receive is through a local church in the form of emotional support.  This church has a mentor program that pairs people with certain "needs" together with a member of the congregation.  She and her mentor meet on a monthly or bi-weekly basis for lunch to talk through her concerns as being a young, single mom.  

"So, she's a single parent and doesn't get welfare, who cares," some of you may ask?  I grew up in a part of Texas where people fall into a cycle of abusing services provided by government, etc. because that's all they know.  We also live in a society where the majority of people live beyond their means so when something happens in their lives where they lose financial ability to support not only themselves but their families, they rely on others to pull them through.  I was simply inspired by the fact this woman lives her life the way she does and it gave me a new perspective about our situation with Baby P.  Just about the time you think you're going through a difficult time, inevitably you will meet someone that has it ten times worse than you could imagine on your worst day.

Now, back to my "changing perspective" theme for this post.  I can't help but find myself feeling a wide array of emotions and having very definitive thoughts about things that used to not bother me at all...Using generalities here, I don't understand how people can get so caught up in being for or against a specific side of a subject that they let their “views” get in the way of what could potentially be best for most Americans.  When did our society become so incredibly divided and either super right-winged or super left-winged?  And why do athletes lie, cheat, bully and hurt others for the sake of fame and fortune?  And as fans, why are we not mad as hell that they do it and so quickly continue supporting them after the media hype has settled down?  Is this what our kids should aspire to...To have a life built on lies, violence, cheating & bullying others to get their way and "win"?  And how can thousands of people get murdered every day and we can't have an open discussion about not only mental health issues, video game violence but ALSO some sort of gun control?  *And for the record here, I grew up shooting guns and am a current gun owner so I'm NOT against guns or the 2nd Amendment. *  I have so many questions that rattle around in this 'ole brain of mine and make me crazy!  For whatever reason, I can’t seem to find a pleasing answer to any of them!

Maybe all of these feelings are now because these are subjects we are about to address for the first time in our own lives so I'm feeling more passionately about them or perhaps, it's just the state of the world we live in with constant access to information.  The only thing I know for sure is I try my hardest to give everyone a chance to speak their mind and earnestly try to appreciate where they are coming from even if their views differ from my own.  As the old saying goes, God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason...to listen more and talk less.  I'm still a work in progress but I feel like it allows so many great, new conversations and people into my life living this way.  Believe me, my perspective on most of these topics has drastically changed over the past year or so.  I’m beginning to wonder, am I crazy or what?  What are your thoughts and did you or have you experienced a shift in thinking recently?