If I make it to the age of 72, if I’m in relatively good health and if I have the good fortune to be able to retire, I hope I’m doing something with that amazing extra time. I hope I’m using myself as a force for good. I hope I’m volunteering for a few hours a week, and/or keeping up with my little free library and/or mentoring someone and/or cultivating a healthy organic garden. Something positive, no matter how small.
I believe that everyone makes some type of impact on this world. Only you can decide what kind of an impact you will make. There’s a wide spectrum that can range somewhere between dedicating every waking hour to some form of service, or, at the opposite extreme, being a completely toxic waste of space that everyone secretly wishes would hurry up and die already. (Harsh, but true.) I’d like to fall on the more positive end of that spectrum, but I doubt I’ll be too radical. I’m not Mother Teresa. Even in my 50’s I do cherish my spare time and my naps. But I hope that if I’m capable of acting at all, I’m able to be an asset, not act like a despicable liability.
Here’s what I will not do, under any circumstances. I will not cause my neighbors to fear for their lives, as Jan Myers, 72, of Shoreline, Washington has done. According to this article, she has been charged with one count of malicious harassment, but in essence she has made the life of one of her Vietnamese-American neighbors a living hell.
Apparently this toxic woman has been hurling racial slurs at her neighbor for years, but recently it escalated into actual threats. She started driving her car up and down the road, yelling for her neighbor to come out, calling her names, and saying that she (the neighbor) wasn’t going to live very long. Myers, of course, is denying everything, but that contradicts the multiple cell phone videos that her neighbor showed the police.
I feel so sorry for her neighbor. No one should be made to feel unsafe in one’s own home. It should be a sanctuary. It should be the one place where you can count on feeling secure, unjudged, and completely yourself.
I wish I knew who that neighbor was so that I could go over and befriend her, take her flowers or cookies or something, and let her know that not everyone feels the way Myers does. I’d exchange contact information with her, and tell her that if that evil old bat threatens her again, just call me and I’ll come over and stand by her side, and that my home would always be a safe place to come to as well. I hope that if her other neighbors see what is going on, they have done so. We all need to take care of one another.
If you haven’t learned how to be a decent human being by age 72, you are wasting your gift of longevity. If all you can do is hate, and make the people around you be afraid and miserable, you are doing nothing but taking up space in this world and making it a much worse place. Is that really the hill you want to die on? I wouldn’t want that to be my legacy at any time in life, but especially not in my later years. I want to make those years golden, not sh** brown.
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2 thoughts on “The Waste of a Perfectly Good Little Old Lady”
Good for you.
I had an aunt who, while being an asset to the family and the community in many ways, still had a habit of slagging me about my…being; she thought that my being an introvert with unusual interests, being more into things and ideas and places than people was some sort of a disease; my intelligence and reasonable people-skills notwithstanding. And ever so often she’d let off some stupid crack about it, and it hurt. I didn’t take kindly to that, and argued her to a standstill, whereupon she gave a good imitation of an armadillo, and we were quite distant though civil, for the last 30 years or so of her life. Other relatives knew about this but I don’t know if they ever said anything; this family is slow at truly sticking up for those who need it, or kicking stupid generalizations/prejudices out of their heads. I’m trying not to be like that, and I’ve made a start. I’ve spoken out against fatphobia, misandry, the shaming of others’ fashion choices however different from mine, and misogyny in the marketing of certain deodorants, and I’m not going to quit. If I can’t find anything nice to say about someone who’s done no actual harm, I might just stay quiet, and find other things to talk about. What do you think the weather was invented for? The woman you describe should do the same, go take a tranquilizer or something. Aaaagghh.
Thanks for speaking the truth. Now hand me some of them tranquilizers also. [Joke.]
Oh, and there was another story of a Florida driver jumping a bridge. Aaaaggghh part 2.
Everyone should have to take the oath, “First, do no harm.” Not just doctors. And yes, idiot bridge jumpers… sigh.