By Georgie Bright Kunkel
Spring is a time of renewal—of trees leafing out in all their glory, of birds tending their little ones without any formal lessons in childcare. It is miraculous how parents continue, generation after generation, to nurture their young. Of course there is the exception of male polar bears attacking their own offspring. Nothing is perfect, right?
It amazes me how the earth has such order—action with definite consequences.
And yet the Ying and Yang of it all mystifies me. Why can’t everything be lovely and pleasurable? Why do we have to take the downside of life along with the joy? I don’t know why I am asking this because I always taught my own children that there are consequences to every action. There is no free ride, as they say. But why do some people luck out with nurturing parent figures that prepare them to live a stable life and others end up on the street or in jail?
We still do not have a social system that guarantees that everyone can eat and be housed. Yes, I know, I keep harping on this state of affairs. Instead of doing something about poverty and homelessness, the tendency is to look down on the less fortunate and blame them for their own dilemma. In this country of pioneers who were able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, we expect everyone to persevere. But let’s remember that no one ever makes it alone. Genetics makes up a large proportion of who each one of us becomes. The people in our lives who cared and who shared of their own courage and intelligence became a part of us. You remember the saying, “No man is an island.” And as a feminist I would revise that statement to say, “No person is an island.”
Great inventors and wealthy entrepreneurs can only take credit for what they have accomplished as a result of all those who went before them. Some were born at just the right moment in human history to take advantage of early inventions and early insights.
Formal education once only available to the elite was made available to all citizens. Unfortunately we often complain about education as if we have forgotten that in a so-called democratic country that we, the citizens, are the ones responsible for providing educational opportunities.
Just for a moment think back to the people in your own life who made an impact upon your being. Think about those who stimulated your search to expand your intelligence. No brain is ever finished. There are parts of each brain that contain bias and misinformation. We need to continue to grow and develop intellectually. It is delightful to stay in tune with the openness of the young mind. We are fortunate that in an open society that we can think for ourselves and not be bound by dictatorial beliefs. I am so glad that I was never taught that any idea is set in stone. I was urged to question every bit of information that came my way. The idea that people are set in their ways as they age is ridiculous. Minds were meant to be challenged and never to cease expanding.
The opportunities to update one’s knowledge with online learning opportunities are endless. On the other hand, opportunities to focus too much free time on porn and titillating excitement may draw one away from enhancing one’s intellectual growth and development. Any interest that becomes an obsession can be debilitating. Balance is a way of enhancing life. Only you can assess what is life enhancing for you. Then it is your challenge to go for it.
Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com or 206-935-8663.