I was eight. My Mother was hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic, her life hanging by a thread. My Father was unemployed, despondent, spending his days and often late into the night at the hospital. I was a hundred miles away from my school and my friends and my normal life. I felt alone and burdened, scared, and angry.
Why my Mother? Why my Father? Why me?
My Great-Aunt came to see me one afternoon and found me in tears. I felt so sorry for myself, so frustrated, and so angry I wanted to bash furniture around the room. She sat me down and said, “Whining and blaming don’t help and they don’t change anything, so you might as well stop right now.”
She wasn’t unkind about it, just flatly stating facts.
“Your Mother is in the hospital fighting for her life. Your Father is out of work. And you are living with Cousins kind enough to take you in during this hard time.”
All of which was true.
“So, are you going to sit here and whine and feel sorry for yourself? Or get up on your feet and do something to help?”
I blinked at her.
“Yes,” she nodded. “Help. Try to be strong and not complain, because all your complaining doesn’t change the situation. It only makes your Father feel worse.”
I knew she was right, because I could see the pain in his face when I told him how miserable I was—-which I did, every single night.
“And take charge!” she said suddenly, to my great surprise. “Make your bed. Do your homework. Help around here with sorting the laundry and taking care of your own clothes. Offer to set the table and do what you can do. Pretty soon, you will start to feel better.”
So I did, and she was right. I changed my attitude, and the world around me did a one-eighty. Mother was still sick. Dad was still out of work. I was still living with Cousin Mildred, but I was back in control and moving forward.
I am getting angry calls and angry blog articles from people who are suffering. I told them what was wrong with America, gave them the entire history on a platter, gave them various tools to use to change things for themselves —and all for free—- but that wasn’t enough. I established a private indemnity bond for them, and taught them how to use it, so that they don’t have to lose their homes and cars and spend time in jail for regulatory infractions, but that’s not enough, either.
Oh, no, they think that I should be doing more and do it with less.
I should be handing out “free” money, like some people promise to do. I should be ending all foreclosures with a wave of my hand. I should be releasing all the people who are wrongfully incarcerated. I should be bringing all the criminals to justice. I should be stopping Smartmeters, vaccinations, and the IRS. I should…. well, there’s no end to what I should do, all while keeping my “Super Grandma” cape spotlessly clean and baking cookies.
Apparently, in their minds, I am a public servant and since I am the only one left doing anything for them, I better hop to it! Run faster! Jump higher!
The fact that I am not a public servant and am not receiving a paycheck for this hasn’t come home to them. The fact that I donate to the cause myself — not just my donated work, but the money from the sale of my books and large dollops of my own retirement income— hasn’t come home to them.
And of course, I shouldn’t need to ask anyone else for any help to do this. I shouldn’t suggest that my Readers send a letter or record their own claim to their own names and God forbid that I or any of the other members of The Living Law Firm should ask for donations to pay out of pocket costs.
Once the whiners and complainers get on their Pity Potty they just don’t know where to stop. With the least little bit of encouragement, their whining and complaining goes straight on into blaming.
It never occurs to them that it is up to them to change their world. Most of them are a lot older than eight years old, too.
Unfortunately, my Great-Aunt isn’t here and I don’t have her patience and diplomatic skills, so I will just say this: you are all older than grade school, you are all responsible for your own lives and what goes on in this world, and you are all blessed with a brain, hands, and feet.
The world will make a one-eighty when we do. I am already doing what I can. The rest is up to all of you.