I grew up with my dad always telling me that as long as Ted Kennedy was around, everything was safe,” she said as she waited in line at the library to sign a condolence book.
With the death of Senator E. Kennedy, I, like some others, recall growing up. No, not just since I became politically aware. I mean childhood. A time when I was innocent and happy. Happy partly because I felt cared-for. I didn't have to think about health care, my parents did. I didn't have to think about feeding people, my parents did. I didn't have to think about the jobless rate, my parents did. I didn't have to think much about education, my parents did. All I had to think about was doing the chores they required of me and doing the work of children, play. I hope you are getting the point here.
Perhaps many of us, at this time, are in a quandary. We are like many teens. We want the protection of someone else to take our causes on their shoulders yet we want our independence. I call it the “push-me-pull-you” state. Perhaps we feel we are inadequate to take on the tasks at hand. For a short time we are back in Maslow's Safety Needs level, but we struggle to get back to the Self Actualization level. Or if you prefer the Growth Level of Alderfer.
Whatever the reasons, I am torn between looking backwards to the happy days of childhood and looking at the present of the hill here. The apple trees we planted that now produce fruit for the picking, the many flower gardens planted, and the natural areas are the here and now. Then my thoughts fly outward to the rest of the world and contemplate the future for those of the next generations. Sometimes knowing, as I do think of the future, much of that future will be the same past, it cannot be avoided. Future generations will have to go through their stages, or levels also. But, can those of us, my generation, now leave those of the next generations at the least the first 3 levels? The first 3 levels are physiological, safety, and belonging. Maybe not to the individual scale of life but maybe for the larger scale. Maybe we can leave the opportunity to achieve at least those first 3 levels on Maslow's scale.
So good-byes to the Senator and stories to tell for a few days then on to being the ones that keep trying.
The Challenges Are There
Wishing for past childhood blissful ignorance,
Wishing to stay in pleasant present ignorance,
Just leave me alone.
Offer me no challenges.
Knowing I cannot stay,
Knowing there is more,
You will not leave me alone.
The challenges are there.
Some I caused,
Some you caused,
Does it matter?
I will not leave you alone.
The challenges are there.