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Posts Tagged ‘respect’

I try not to lecture on this blog but I just have to say this, so please bear with me.

Susan Boyle, the British singer on Britain’s Got Talent, steps out on stage and people roll their eyes and laugh. At what? At the nerve of a frumpy woman, with frizzy hair, to dare think she deserves our respectful attention long enough to give her a chance?

I was raised with the concept that you treat everyone like you would like to be treated.  Isn’t that really the only rule you need to live by?  You would not want someone to shoot you, to cheat on you, to steal from you, to laugh at you, or to judge you by your looks alone. 

And, believe me, those looks are fleeting.  Snap your fingers and you too will be sixty and have wrinkles and battle weight as your body slows down.  So—–

Everyone. Let me repeat, EVERYONE, deserves respect until they have proven they do not. Our children deserve our respect. Our parents deserve our respect. Disabled people deserve our respect and that also means people who do not obviously look disabled, as my husband has never “looked” like he was disabled. Of course, now that he looks like he is ninety, when he is really fifty-six, he gets more respect for his disease.

We are so quick to judge! Whether it is someone’s weight or looks or hair or teeth or scars or, or or. Let’s give everyone the respectful attention they deserve and that we would want, if we just weren’t so darn perfect.

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We have taken on a roll that many adults now hold, and that is grandparents who become parents to their grandchildren, as well as taking care of their own parent.  It is one thing to raise a child from birth, or a young age, and it is another thing to take on a teenager.  I mean, come on guys, the world is WAY different now than it was when I was a teen. 

 

The deal with these guys is their previous upbringing, or lack thereof.  There was a big focus on being obedient and saying “Yes, Sir” and “No, Ma’am.”   While, we feel it is more important to have respect and give respect than it is to say meaningless words that you are beat for, if you do not say them. 

 

The boys did have varying degrees of influence from us.  They were with us, for their first: nine years, six years, and three years respectively.  The youngest does not remember living with us at all.  The oldest made a fluid transition to our home.  He did not make a fluid transition to school.  He once did a whole semester of homework, without ever turning it in to the teacher.  This is something only a homeschooled boy would do; or an idiot.  And, he is not an idiot.  We found out about it because we had four teachers tell us, at his first public school conference, that he was a genius.  I could only look down at the F’s across the page and ask “Why this, then?”  Not turning in homework will make even a genius fail. 

 

What worries me is the lack of “love of knowledge and education.”   It was more important in their stepfather’s home, to fear than to love.  Fear Stepfather’s belt and retribution, fear (for girls) of not wearing prairie dresses and head coverings.  Fear of the word “Foolishness.”  That last one is because it means the “rod of correction” is going to beat it out of you when your grandparent’s leave. 

 

These three are safe now and have varying degrees of success.  They do not know how to judge people, as their past experiences consisted only in friends like themselves.  Which consisted of other ultra conservative Christian home schooled children who are protected from the world out there by paranoid parents.  So, we are now locking our doors and covering our windows so the Bi-Polar ex-girlfriend of EMT will leave us alone, perhaps proving that it is not so bad to be paranoid.  But, it is not a good way to live.  He trusts everyone and is friends to everyone, even someone who is in need of commitment (even her mother says so at this point). 

 

I do not understand why these parents, who isolate their children from modern society, do not realize that their children must go out and live in the world we all live in and if you do not provide a child with the tools to recognize and understand that world, that they will have a hard time getting along in it.

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I stayed up way too late last night to see who won.  It was inspiring to hear Obama’s speech and, it impressed me that the Obama crowd did not “boo,” in fact there were some cheers, when McCain was mentioned.  I think the fact that Obama would stop that behavior, while on the campaign trail, was a big reason. He set the tone. 

I felt sorry for McCain.  I think he is an honorable man, who was running at a difficult time for his party and made a horrible choice for his VP pick.  She became, more than anything, a running SNL joke. I have always respected McCain but I think that perhaps he bowed to those on his staff who thought that defaming others was the way to go.  I would hope that was not his choice.

I finally had to turn tv off to get some sleep and  I was extremely pleased this morning to see this map.  This is perhaps the first time when I have felt that my vote actually counted. 

Booha, Indiana, well done.  Perhaps now, we can get onto the important things; like repairing America’s reputation in the world, fixing our economy, healthcare, jobs, the list goes on.  I do not envy the job he has to do, but I have faith that he is up to it. 

obama-won-small-jpg

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I grew up with a small black and white picture of my Grandmother Parker as proof positive we had Native American heritage.  Unlike earlier generations, who felt the need to deny being Native, my mother was proud of this photo.  It was said that Grandma Parker was a daughter of Quannah Parker.  My mother has the love of all things Native, so it was natural I would turn to painting Native Americans.  What was not natural for me, was to paint deceased children.

When I began oil painting, I found that my love was painting people. If I would have had the money for models, I would have painted the nude human form exclusively. Since I needed to stick to clothed forms, I began accepting commissions for children.

The problem with painting children is that, in the economic circle I have floated in most of my life, the only commissions I was getting were in the $300 range and were people who wanted to remember their children who had passed away. At first I felt as if I was doing a service. After a time, it just became depressing.

The final straw was the woman who came to me with a snapshot. Her sons face was the size of a dime. He was a cute little boy with freckles and buck teeth and ears that stuck out. She requested that I give him a Heavenly background, an angelic smile without the buck teeth, and please pin his ears back. The heavenly terms kept coming and I knew this woman was not ready for this painting. It would not bring her son back and she would never be happy because it would not look like her son; even if I could paint it from that size of photo.

My two years of pre-law, and ten years of law office work kicked in and I drew  up a four page contract. Giving me say as to when the painting was complete.  I took the sign down and dedicated myself to painting Native Americans and Revolutionary recreationers. 

I traveled coast to coast, marketing my art work for many years.  I loved the times I exhibited at Native “Pow Wows.”   I exhibited at an inter-tribal school in Bismark, North Dakota and did some things with schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation. 

At the Bismark Pow Wow, I sat up my display and went to move the van (a normal thing for a show). When I turned around I saw a sea of cars. There was no way I was going anywhere, even if I wanted to, till the Pow Wow was over. We were treated like family. Another vendor brought us lemonade shake-ups every few hours.  We purchased typical fair food. One man had come up to my booth several times a day and stood in  companionable silence. The last day of the show, he was in his dance clothing. He took his full eagle feather headdress off and asked if we would please watch it. It was a great honor.  I was also given red-heart trade beeds by the Chieftan, and, my memory being what it is, I cannot remember his name.  But, they are my most valued piece of jewelry.

It was a wonderful weekend, sleeping in my van, going to sleep and waking to the rhythm of the drums. That is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. 

I have always had a sign on my booth. “I PAINT WITH RESPECT. Should you see me photographing in your direction and you do not wish me to, please tell me and I will make sure not to. If you do not mind, please talk to me and I will send you copies of any photos I take with you in.” People would come up and give me photos to keep and paint from. Rarely was I asked not to take a picture, but I always honored that request.

If you treat people with respect, they will treat you with respect and the world will open up for you.

 

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