My mother once told me that my first words were
I said it, she claims, emphatically.
I am sure I meant it, too.
I had been raised with an ideal:
An idea that I’d be beholden to no one.
When a friend of mom’s asked me one time
In mid ’85 whether I’d marry rich one day and live high and fine
Driving Hubby’s Lamborghini
Wearing thousand-dollar bikinis
I looked her straight in the eye and said:
“When I grow up, I will make my own money and buy my own car.”
But, no one seems to say that anymore.
And no one seems to encourage it to be said.
And, when the Lambos don’t come easily, we hear that “it’s just not FAIR.”
As if fairness were determined by equality.
“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t” I hear from the mouths of babes.
Never is there a drive to work to find a way
But instead if you don’t have a pencil
That must mean you don’t have to do your homework today.
Or it is my job to give you one.
And, if I don’t, then it is my fault that you have failed.
And, if your computer broke this morning,
Then clearly you should not be held responsible
For turning in a paper that was assigned two weeks ago.
And it is the doctor’s job to keep you healthy,
Your mom’s job to keep you clean,
Your dentist’s job to make sure your teeth don’t rot,
And the Rev’s job to make you believe.
Nothing is up to you, anymore.
Put your hands out.
God and the Fates will provide.
Because you deserve it.
Teachers are told to adjust student workloads
For each according to his need.
No child should struggle, they say
As if struggling didn’t make us all free
Or didn’t build character.
Maybe, instead the struggle is the KEY.
For if every man, woman and child embraced the struggle now
We’d all learn just a little bit more about how
We can build ourselves into mountains
For it was pressure that forged the Earth’s peaks.