Monday, May 15, 2017

Lif in the Microcosm



photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo Ritzville Washington  ~ Historic Main Street ~ Small Town America via photopin (license)


My daughter and I visited a small town the other day and as usual I people watched from the corners of my eyes. I've always been fascinated by these little microcosms of society ruled by Christianity and red meat, Saturday night drink-a-thons and usually a ton of 1950-ish dogmatic beliefs. In the car later I was talking about how these small towns have existed for so long without any change, and isn't that funny, but in a way beautiful. However, they won't last much longer because eventually the rest of the world will encroach on their bubble and bring about a slow but lasting shift.

So Frank works at the slaughterhouse. His father works there, his friends work there, and they all drink beer on Saturday night and then go to church on Sunday. Frank meets a girl, gets married, and soon a baby is on the way. A boy. They name him John. Well, John is a free spirit, he likes to dance, he doesn't care about looking like a boy or a girl, and he hates meat. His parents seek comfort in the church and are told to reject all evil. But it's their kid. Is John evil? So first, they whip him, then they take him hunting, then to the slaughterhouse, then they forcibly cut his hair and demand that he acts like everyone else. Lastly, they shun John and tell him to get out because if they can't change him they can't love him.

But John is still John, and the seeds of his lessons stay behind, eroding and eradicating the dogmatic ways of his parent's generation. Years go by and the parents adapt. They can accept the hair, the open thinking, and eventually, they'll come to accept John completely, because love heals all.

You can already see it. The new generations see how the rigid, rules we live by just aren't working anymore, and they will change it because somehow they know it's time. And that's beautiful. What do you think?

I wish you a great day. Thank you so much for stopping by!



7 comments:

  1. And one day John may have to choose a care home for them, and maybe he'll repay their kindness by choosing the worst one he can find.

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    1. Ha! But he's enlightened . . . ah, you're funny, Cro. Yes, John totally should do that, but he probably won't. And speaking of that, I hope my kids just put me in a cabin in the woods when it's that time.

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  2. I have lived in small towns and big ones and found similar stories in both. Those that close with promise rely on rational parents realizing the future must always be repaired in advance. The bucolic countryside conceals as much strife per family as the bustling city, I suspect. And yes, the rules change --good thing too-- but the basic precepts of compassion, acceptance and conference of dignity remain intact. Thought-provoking post --thanks!

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    1. Thank you! And good point about the similarities in bigger landscapes too. I suppose this happens in all aspects and areas.

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  3. I was brought up in NY City. In the 50's and 60's each block was a small town in itself. We weren't anymore sophisticated than a town in Iowa. However, times changed, and information started to spread through television. By the mid-sixties, revolution by young people exploded because we questioned the status quo and the war. More information created more discomfort for everyone but things started to change. I often wonder today that when I see the older generation clinging to beliefs that hurt other people, what happened to those people of my generation who fought for equality and love back when they were young. Where have they gone and what caused them to harden their hearts. I have mellowed, but I still cling to my hippy beliefs of peace and love.

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    1. I wonder that as well. I'll see people who say there were hippies and yet their views are extremely rigid and not at all what you'd think them to be. I think the 1980s did a real number on folks. Money became king.

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    2. I agree. Money and greed often change people's views on fairness and empathy for others.

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