Day 64 – Two-Dimensional

February 11, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

Life is multifaceted. As a child in the 50’s, the days of Ozzie and Harriet, I did not understand this. If I saw a tattooed person, I made assumptions about that person’s educational background and outlook. If I saw a child with pierced ears, I assumed that child was a gypsy. If someone had a southern accent, I assumed that person was a hillbilly. These things were taught to me both in outright ways and subtle  ways. And those labels were undesirable.

It might seem strange to young people today that someone would make these assumptions. I come from a time in history when things were black and white (including the TV), when everything was delineated. I think today’s youth are a lot more accepting than youth 60 years ago. In my childhood neighborhood, there was a little boy who liked to play with dolls and he pushed them around in a doll carriage. My mother did not want me to play with him. He was different from other boys and was called a “sissy.” A little girl in my second grade class had pierced ears, uncommon in those days, and my mother did not want me to associate with the “gypsy” girl. In fifth grade, a boy sang songs to me with a southern twang as he played a guitar. I learned he was not good enough for me because he was a “hillbilly.” They were considered to be unsuitable playmates for me.

People who yearn for the “good old days” and who say that today’s youth have “gone to the dogs” have forgotten about the narrow views that most people held years ago. Youth today are much more accepting of people for who they are. They do not prejudge someone who is covered in tattoos. They do not make the assumptions that I grew up with. They do not look at the outside alone but they assume there is a multifaceted person inside. They are less likely to apply labels than their grandparents.

We seniors have a lot to learn from young people today who accept that life is multifaceted. Sexual identity and orientation are not binary but a continuum. I have no desire to “escape” to Florida with some of my peers and live a sedentary life. I relish diversity, life’s layers, and all the rainbow facets that life has to offer. This is what makes life so vibrant. I am glad that I am not stuck in my past and that I seek to connect with those who are not like me. They enrich my life.

Today’s gift is life’s many facets.

> DAY 65 Zombie Land

You can read my other posts on this project here:

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