I have lived almost 66 years of varied and interesting experiences. I’ve traveled more than some people, but not as much as others. I have visited countries with different cultures: Mexico, Canada, Germany and Switzerland. I have traveled in a travel trailer home, a mobile home, and airplane, from little to large. I have been to the mountains and the beaches of Virginia, Florida, South and North Carolina.
To me traveling is a mind expanding experience. I learned that not everyone believes, lives, eats, speaks or even thinks about life the way that I do. Another heart warming revelation was that all people need and want most of the same things: love, acceptance, companionship, a place to call home, and money enough to live and enjoy life.
As a retired nurse I think back on some of my experiences while in the medical field. My patients varied from surgical, pediatric, obstetric, to Intensive and Coronary Care patients. Most recently before my retirement I worked on a telemetry unit for heart patients. I have defibrillated, performed CPR, catheterized, inserted intravenous lines, dressed wounds, even assisted in temporary pacemaker insertions, gastroscopies, and other minor procedures.
I learned more about people, dealing with patients, and family under more stress than most of us can imagine. I learned how to teach patients and families about their illness, surgery, care, lab tests, and more. Caring for patients was the part of nursing I loved most.
My homes have been at the foothills of mountains in Greenville, SC; to the flat lands of New Orleans, LA; to the rural Columbus, Mississippi; and finally the foothills and flat lands of North Carolina. So I have experienced lifestyles across the southern states. From rural towns to big city, I have lived in many situations..
Weather, from hurricanes in New Orleans to tornadoes in Mississippi and North Carolina (twice and each was from 1-5 miles away!), have also been parts of my life experience.
My husband was pastor of a church in the mountains where we experienced a blizzard and housed and fed over 100 snowbound people in our church when the main highway closed.
In the opposite pole of weather conditions I have been without electricity for 4 days in the heat of August after a hurricane actually passed within miles of our home in North Carolina!
My experiences have ranged financially from poor to adequate income with some savings to Social Security and Retirement Funds. I know what it is like to have second hand clothes and live in an old house with a floor furnace to stand on when coming in from the cold. I have lived in apartments and co owned two houses. I now live in a condominium.
All of us have had varied experiences from infancy through adulthood. But most of us have had some similarities in our lives. We have gone to school and learned a lot of the same subjects. Most of us have felt loss, sadness, fear, anxiety, denial, helplessness, strength, and the range of other emotions we have all experienced.
We are all human beings which of course we know largely the same basic experiences of love, marriage, having the responsibilities and joys of having a family. We have all wanted more money, more possessions, better health, safety for our loved ones and ourselves.
To sum it all up, everyone on this planet has experienced many of the same feelings. The differences come in the ways our cultures have taught us to deal with each experience. Some see hardship as a trial, or test or learning experience; some see hardships as punishment. Problems could be just consequences of a bad decision. From my experiences and the training I received as a child from my parents, I try to maintain a positive attitude, seeing challenges as learning experiences or ways to use my creativity. Then sometimes one just has to live with the consequences of their decisions.
“So what is this post all about?” We are all more alike than we are different. Right now during a period of so many divisive opinions please, try to remember we are all human beings with fears, joys, stress, families, friends, homes, and our own beliefs. We all have the right to believe as we choose. Please try to be tolerant of the opinions of others.
Please don’t pigeon hole everyone as a “Damn Liberal,” Stupid Conservative,” or whatever. Our country is not going to come together until we can remember that our forefathers came over (well many of them; some were here already) to escape religious or political persecution.
So please stop to think a minute. “Am I a religious or political persecutor or am I accepting of those who as Americans exercise their right to chose their beliefs or whatever, whether they be wrong or right, they have the freedom to choose.”
This link is to the song: United We Stand, Divided We Fall. https://youtu.be/GYw1aNSfZls
I do think many people make their decisions based on what their family or friends choose. But making any decisions should be done with careful research. Not just listening to the news or reading the newspaper. We should each listen to both sides of an issue, with all of its pros and cons before we make a decision. We should make educated choices.
Many years ago some countries decided that people who were not educated and even women should not be allowed to vote. Let’s be thankful we do not live in those times and use our political “voice” after much research, thinking and listening to both sides. One side is not always right and the other one always wrong. That’s why we are supposed to work together to make things the best they can be.