Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Their are Citizens' Rights. And Then There Is the Family Credo

Does your family have a credo that defines you? More or less, even if we are alone, we do.

Sometimes it just defines us. More welcoming, more warming, is when it defines family, either big or little.

From my grandparents: Don't lie. Do honest business. Always wear good, well-cared-for shoes (Sophia Loren once agreed with that last in an interview. She said you can get away with a cheap but flattering dress, but the shoes must always be good. My grandfather would have approved.) Go to church. Tithe if you can. Save money. Vote.
Volunteer. Garden. Laugh often

From my parents: Don't ever lie, even if it hurts. It will hurt less in the long run. Always vote. Pay your bills. Live below your income so you can save if you can. Take your children to church. Contribute to the community. Enjoy art and music. Garden. Eat a lot of green and yellow vegetables, including green chiles and onions. Trust good friends. Laugh often. Read. Read. Read. Everything. See the humans in history and learn the past. Treasure it. My father once told me he could have made more money easily if he had taken some perfectly prevalent shortcuts. It was the first time I ever saw that celebratory gleam in his eye, that wolfish grin. "Doing it honest is harder," he told me, "but it can be done." Be proud of your honesty.

Take care of yourself. You owe it to family to be proactive on health.

And, "Love with all your heart," my father told me, "But marry with your head."

What have I inculcated in this and added to? What do I see my sons observing and/or teaching?

Honesty.Courage to be honest. A liking of history. A basic love of a lot of vegetables.
We all vote. We all honor education and also music and art. We all vote. We must. And as we can, we donate blood and organs.

Retrospective is easier than current.

One thing that sticks out: my family has a tradition of voting. I don't know why neither of my grandmothers told me about getting the vote or their first time, but neither said a word. Maybe they thought it was enough that when I was growing up I took it for granted women voted, and they didn't want to spoil that. Or something. I'll never know. Maybe by then, they just accepted it. They had been voting more than 20 years by my birth.

I love extended voting, and already have voted. This year, for the first time, I toyed with not voting. Three generations. a family code of honor. Vote.

So I did. And I would be discombobulated for the next four years if I hadn't. Actually, another family mantra: you have no right to complain if you haven't voted.
Thank God I voted.

I could never keep my mouth shut for four years.

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