There is a blog I have been following for some time now; I like the way the blogger decorates for the different seasons and find her house to be very beautiful. But since reading her latest post, my head has been a whirlwind. Something wasn't sitting right with me, and I was turning her words around and around in my head, trying to figure out why.
Let me explain: in her latest post she described being sick in bed and turning on the television. She described being horrified with what was on tv, and went on to say that she wishes things would go back to the way they were, back to the 'good old days;' she went on to list the things that were so much better back then, such as 'being proper.' And while I understood what she meant, every fiber of my being felt like what she was saying was wrong.
Here's why: The 'good old days' were only good for some people.
You all know that I am a homemaker; my husband works, I stay home and clean, cook, take care of the bills, buy flowers, walk the dog, paint, and write. I love old-fashioned things, vintage finds, old movies, old photographs, old books, old stories...I love baking and crafting, and before my husband comes home I apply mascara and spritz on some perfume. By any accounts, I'm an 'old-fashioned gal.'
But let me tell you something: I live this way because it's my choice. And I appreciate knowing that if I chose to live differently, I could.
I happened to fall in love with a white man. But I appreciate knowing I could just have easily have fallen in love with a woman of a different race, and could still live a happy, prosperous life without being an outcast.
I appreciate that I can vote; that I could have bi-racial children without worrying about them not being accepted by their peers; I appreciate that a man who happens to be black is president; that a woman wasn't far behind in the presidential race...and I find it shameful that people who are benefiting from the hard work and bravery of their ancestors complain about trivial things. An ex-boyfriend of mine who I am still in contact with told me that when Obama was elected, his father cried, and said he wished his parents and grandparents were alive to witness this day which they fought for and dreamed of.
We live in a time of choice; we can choose to turn off the television if we don't like what's on. We can choose what our children watch and read. We can choose to raise our children to be creative, intelligent, wonder-filled, compassionate human beings even though there is trash on television and violent movies and video games. We have a choice.
I don't think a person who is gay, a person who is black, a person who has a child with a disability, a person who is jewish, a person who loves a person of another race or religion, a person who lives as a transsexual or transvestite, would want to go back to the 'good old days.' I don't think my Jewish grandfather, who escape the nazis in Austria by fleeing to Switzerland, would think of those times as 'the good old days.'
I am happy living right now. I am grateful for the struggles and hard work many courageous people endured for me to be able to have the choices I have.
Living in this time of choice is an absolute luxury. We need to remember that. We need to recognize our great fortune. We need to understand that, yes, there is charm to an old-fashioned Christmas, and yes, men dressed like gentlemen, and yes, they sure did make pretty things back then. But those are things we can incorporate into our lives if we choose.
Those are my thoughts.....what are yours?