Victim or Empowered Creator –
Take a Stand

I’m on a bit of a rant here. I’ve been watching all the marching, breast beating, and thumping going on these days. I haven’t seen demonstrations on this scale since the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, during my first job Downtown. I used to buy into the liberal view of the world, that people were being treated horribly, and that someone had to do something about it.

Decades later I’m more attuned to truth, and I no longer want to frame anyone involved in this situation as a victim who is too weak to take care of him/herself and their families. I’m no longer willing to tell someone that I, or someone else, or the government, has a better idea of how they can be more, do more, or have more than they do themselves. Today I take a stand!

By taking a stand, I’m drawing a line in the sand. In your world, there might be victims that you isolate in ghettos so that you can take care of them, because they are too disadvantaged by race, culture, education, or disability to create anything good for themselves. I also allow your world, if you choose it, to have the side benefit of isolating the disadvantaged from your neighborhood. I’ll even allow you to hold these folk up as an example of how you helped in order to feel good about yourself. I’m okay with you creating this reality in your world.

In my world, there are empowered decision makers. Everyone has a free will choice. Whether people understand the way a free will universe with natural order works, universal laws apply to all. I don’t always, and won’t always, want to live in the unique band of reality some folk create. But, they have, as children of the Divine, the absolute birthright to make and live their choices. I have the Divine right to observe their choices and make my own. I feel good in this world because I created it and can change any aspect of my reality at any time I choose.

Power Comes from Simple Activities, Driven by Intent

I feel really blessed, actually, by having parents who walked their talk. They didn’t rely on anyone else to create a better life for their families, for their children. They connected to what they felt was right and good, put on their big kid panties, and did whatever they were inspired to do to put legs under their dreams. This is what grounding reality looks like.

For my Dad, his family support didn’t start with we girls. My Dad’s family lived in the Polish ghetto in Chicago. This was a community where the housing was relatively cheap for immigrants who came to the United States to have a better life. Both his parents worked hard in factories, and he had two sisters in Catholic school. After the Depression my Grandfather didn’t have work. There wasn’t enough money to keep the family going and the girls in school. So, my Dad quit school (6th grade), hopped a freight train, and went west where they had more itinerant work. He got several jobs, even traveled with a carnival. But, he didn’t spend his money on fancy clothes, records, or his social life. He sent the money back home to his Mother and sisters so that they had a better life.

When my sister and I were born, my Dad drove trucks. He left when it was still dark and came home late at night, taking as much overtime as he could. He even worked most Saturdays. He was bound and determined that his family would have the home he always dreamed of providing.

My Mom was multi-talented. Even when she stayed at home when were younger, she took in sewing and tailoring and taught piano lessons. This extra money provided more expanded educational experiences for us – books, dancing and music lessons, trips to art museums and museums, concerts, and so on. They didn’t use the money to provide us with the outer trappings of success like fancy clothes or a $100 pair of shoes. In fact, I never had “store bought” clothes until I was a teenager. My parents enriched us with the skills and experiences that helped us both more easily access higher education and better paying jobs. Too, they showed up at our games, recitals, and art shows to let us know how much they appreciated what we invested of ourselves in our activities.

The funny thing is that I didn’t even know until I was older that my Dad and Uncles didn’t really like recitals, museums, and classical concerts. They attended with such good cheer, we thought they loved these activities as much as we did.

The expanding life they created for all of us didn’t happen because my family had wealth, education, or extra advantages. In fact, as I was growing up, the ghettos of Chicago were filled with immigrants who worked hard to get out of the city and into a better life than they had “in the old country.” There was discrimination because of language and cultural barriers. Getting good jobs was hard for immigrants. But, my grandparents and parents did whatever it took, no matter how long it took, to make their dreams come true.

Was it perfect? No. Did they become multi-millionaires with a flashy lifestyle? No. But, they had experiences beyond their wildest dreams and insured that generations down the road, everyone in the family would have good values, ethics, education, and possibilities.

Quit Marching; Take a Stand

So, if you want to join me in a world of free will choice, quit marching, claiming and holding so tightly to your victimhood that you will never experience the true power of contributing to your dream becoming real. Start looking for programs that help you get job skills. Find reading and math programs for your kids, no matter how old they are. Look for ways to volunteer and help others in your community. I’ve taught in these job skills/reading/math programs. They exist and work – find them.

There are good community agencies that can help you learn to budget, create better food choices for you and your family, and help you move to better housing. In fact, an acquaintance of mine buys derelict buildings out east and helps low income families repair the apartments/homes they eventually move into. She helps them get a mortgage to be home owners; shows them how to stay on budget. Folks who can help you move into a better neighborhood are out there – find them.

It’s always been your choice. You can stay where you are or choose to be somewhere else. But, if you want change, you are going to have to change something, whether it’s comfortable or not.

How about starting here? Stop listening to the voices that tell you, you are too disadvantaged, too weak, too powerless to take make your own decisions and make them real. Understand that proclaiming your victimhood by marching and complaining about the injustices done to you further disempowers you. And, know the truth — the people who tell you these demonstrations, that often lead to violence, are effective just want to keep you where you are. Instead, find the help that is out there to change something in your life now.

I know what legacy I’m leaving, as I’ve drawn my line in the sand. I invite you to draw yours.



Instead of Marching Take a Stand

Victim or Empowered Creator – Take a Stand I’m on a bit of a rant here. I’ve been watching all the marching, breast beating, and thumping going on these days. I haven’t seen demonstrations on this scale since the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, during my first job Downtown. I used to buy into Read More…

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