I use Nordic Sticks when I take my walks. They keep my knees from wobbling and give me stability. I can walk long distances and they are comforting. I follow the Santa Rosa Creek trails. You know, those horrible things that we do with taxes, preserving creeks, ecosystems and creating a treasure for generations. Anyway.
A green Saturn passes me, turns to the right and stops. A young blond, fresh looking twenty something woman gets out of the car and walks up to me with flip-flops –she is having a rough time in the uneven road.
I say hello, she looked a bit nervous and then asks:
” Are you totally blind, or partially blind ? ”
I am puzzled, then I realize she confused the Nordic Walking sticks for a white cane, my sunglasses probably added to the confusion.
“No, I am not blind, I am using two sticks, blind people use one stick and it’s usually white, ” I answer, I remember we learned that in driver’s education back in the seventies.
“Oh, ahem, I thought you were blind, I am such a fan of god, I wanted to tell you that I will be praying for you.” awkward silence.
She meant well. She wanted to do something good. She wanted to let me know that she is doing, or intending to do something good.
Then I wondered about this simple young woman and her good will. Someone told her that prayer was the way to god. Prayer was the path to goodness. Ask god, don’t take action, don’t use your free will. Her innocent, yet very naïve world view, reminded me of how retrograde America is similar to retrograde in other times and places.
It’s not bad, it’s just so naïve. Somehow, the lessons of 20th century citizenship passed her and the ones like her by. Unaware that blind Americans don’t need prayers, they need services and rights.
We could all use a prayer from time to time, but we cannot live by them. It reminded me of the Arabic saying ” Insha’Allah”, god willing, or my mother’s : ” Αν θέλει ο Θεός”: if god wants. God, had nothing to do with it, I wanted to go to the party.
In 21st century America, I forget that a large segment of Americans, have given up on free will, choice, democratic action, citizenship, human rights and all the noble rights of the enlightenment, for a nice comforting passive place of ” God willing”. Matter of fact, last week, they had a rally with television personalities, wishing to go back to the naïve times, the old times, before freedom and free will were a burden.
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