Tuesday, June 16, 2020

We "Should"

I've written before about the Tyrannical Shoulds.  They were made famous by Karen Horney, a psychiatrist who practiced over a century ago. I don't plan to discuss them except to say that I encountered them recently in a book and was reminded that I don't enjoy being reminded of what I "should" do...or think.

Despite what the vocal minority says, I don't think I'm a victim of "white privilege." And I don't think I "should" pay for prior injustices committed by others. Yes, I'm white. That was determined at my birth. I don't feel that I'm privileged. During my active years I worked hard for every penny (and there were times when I wondered if it was worth it).

I've lived through the times when blacks were treated as second-class citizens, I've lived through times when they were given privileges that they definitely deserved. I currently look on what might have begun as "protest marches" but rapidly deteriorated into looting and wanton destruction. And I weep. I weep for our nation, which is divided as never before. I'm ready for healing, but not to be told I "should" do something to atone for it.

It may have begun with the death of a black man, but it soon came to involve the deaths of numerous people--black and white, police and protesters. I agree that change is warranted, but not through lawless actions. And please don't tell me what I "should" do. I know what I think is right. What I'd like to see is some constructive action toward it.

End of rant. Now it's your turn.


Priscilla Bettis said...

I weep too. It's hard to sleep at night. I try to be positive and repeat to myself, "Let not your heart be troubled." The violence and hatred bother me more than any stupid virus ever could.

Richard Mabry said...

I hate to watch the news at night (yes, we like a conservative station), but keep hoping to see a turn-around. Meanwhile, I try to avoid the tyranny of the "should."

Patricia Bradley said...

Amen and Amen. I do not watch any news unless I'm trapped in a burning building. (at someone's house when it comes on. lol) My parents were sharecroppers and they were treated like second class citizens, so I know a little about being looked down upon. But I knew if I wanted more, I had to get an education beyond what my parent got--fourth grade before both were orphaned, one in Tennessee and the other in Kentucky. But by sheer hard work and frugal living, they left a legacy, not only financial but of giving an honest day's work for a day's pay. Never did they accept financial help from anyone, not that I think it's wrong if you can't work or you fall on hard times--that's just what they did.

I work eight to ten hours a day, either volunteering or writing and in the past I've worked for a nonprofit, picking up the elderly and taking them to a senior center. When I picked them up at 7 in the morning, no one was on the streets in their community, but when I returned them home around 1:30 or 2, the streets were full of young, able-bodied people just hanging out. That made me mad then and it makes me mad now. I am all for peaceful protest and our little town has had a few lately, both black and white together trying to make things better. We used to have a unity service where blacks and whites came together to make our city the best it can be. We need to start that again as soon as Covid is over.

You opened a can of worms with me, Richard. Sorry. Rant's over. lol

Richard Mabry said...

No can of worms and no rant. You've said what a lot of us feel--myself included, obviously--and knowing your background (which is similar to mine) helps in understanding it. Don't know what we can do about it, but I weep for our country, and for our children who'll have to face the problem long after we're gone.

Patricia Bradley said...

The thing is, Richard, I grew up in a home that preached everyone is the same under the skin. So I've never had a problem with any race, and have good friends with different races.

Richard Mabry said...

I'm afraid that my upbringing was a bit different. Both grandparents looked upon the blacks in our town as menials, but by the time I started Med School I discovered that beneath the colored skin, everyone's blood was red.

Nancy said...

Richard, you and I are of the same generation. I'm from a small town in mid-America. My parents didn't look down on anyone because of skin color. It was the ones who were able bodied but preferred a handout instead of work. My uncle was the bigot who hated blacks and Japanese.

Both my parents had to work and we had a black housekeeper who was like a part of the family. In fact, my son was almost three before he asked why Rosalie's skin didn't look like his. I gave him the Easter egg theory about how they were all different on the outside but the same on the inside. That always worked for him.

I worked on ships for ten years and met my husband there. He's black and has always been loved by my entire family - parents, siblings, children and grandchildren.

My heart aches for what has happened to our country. I saw the beginnings of this racial divide while our former president was in office. One would think he would want to unite rather than divide our country. I'm all for peaceful protests, but the riots are just an excuse to be violent, to destroy and to steal. Often from their own community.

Richard Mabry said...

Nancy, I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Like you, I'm sick at heart when I see what's happening in our country. But stay tuned. God's in control.