Sunday, October 16, 2011

Independance

"I was raised to have someone take care of me…I couldn't be a secretary or a waitress." Pushing 70, and truly having been around the block, I've heard many say many thing, but I have never heard anyone say they were raised to be dependant on someone else.

The first thing I thought when I heard that was, "Who the hell were your parents? What were they like and what were they thinking?" That's just embarrassing to reflect on one's parents that way, to say nothing of, in my opinion having parents who were clueless about the world, with no thought of the future of their child or children.

Narcissism is characterized by a lack of empathy, a willingness to exploit others, and an inflated sense of self-importance. According to a discussion on public Internet venue of professionals, it's a defensive reaction of withdrawing one's sexual interest from other people and focusing it exclusively on oneself. Narcissism pretty much follows the myth of Narcissus (I happen to like mythology).

It seems like an "Oh poor me" condition and I have no compassion for that at all.

While it isn't all about me, I was raised differently, in a loving, close, intellectually oriented family that had a work ethic, a love ethic, a family ethic and so forth. I was taught that "Whatever you get yourself into, get yourself out of." Now that isn't to say that my parents didn't help me growing up; or wouldn't help me if was in serious trouble (never was); it is just to say that I loved my parents and my upbringing.

To wit, when I dropped out of school at the age of 18 and worked my may over to Europe on freighter, they took me to the port in NYC and wished me love and luck. About a year later, stuck in Paris, broke and hungry, I called them "Collect," a pretty penny in those days. I needed money to get home.

My Dad, accepting the call, said, "Glad you're alright, but you're going to have to raise the money to get back, or work your way back." It wasn't a nasty conversation at all, albeit brief because of the cost.

Six weeks later I had raised enough playing the guitar and working in a café to buy a ticket on a big deal ship, the Rotterdam, albeit well below decks, but I nice room nonetheless.

And, the touch of irony: I met a woman on board, a bit older than I, who partnered with me in a couple of bridge tournaments – together we won about $500.00, quite a bit. I got off the boat with safely in New York, with a couple of hundred bucks in my pocket.

I suppose almost everyone would like someone to take care of them, but I also suppose most prefer independence.

Sure, the future's more uncertain that ever these days and a huge and increasing number of persons and families are broke, if not fast approaching. Hell, my income's considerably lower, more than considerably.

Life's life…get through it, get over it…find a way that doesn't involve whining and complaining.

Oh, yeah…it was my wife I was describing.