From the miscellaneous drawer

by Anne Swenson

I don’t understand women. Not all women of course, after all I am a woman. <BR><BR>First maybe I should explain about women I do understand. I understand women who thought they were assigned a role in life which included becoming a wife, having children and leading a life centered around those loved ones.<BR><BR>I understand women who thought they were assigned a role in life which included becoming educated, working in a field which absorbed them and leading a life centered around those values.<BR><BR>I understand women who learned they were assigned a role in a life they never planned, one where they started adult life working in a mundane job which at its best helped to pay bills yet they made the best of it.<BR><BR>I understand women who found that life gave them more challenges than their careful planning could foresee and yet they still arise daily to meet those challenges with a positive spirit.<BR><BR>I understand women who form a bond with other women and rely on them for deep and lasting friendships.<BR><BR>I understand women who earlier met with disappointments in marriage and life and have since found comfort and strength in a stronger marriage.<BR><BR>I understand women who have chosen to live an independent life while accepting at least a portion of community values and responsibilities.<BR><BR>I understand women who set aside some part of themselves to be able to take on more of the burden of a loved one’s illness and incapacity.<BR><BR>I understand women whose lives and standards were engrained in them and who did not have a basis for expecting life would bring them any variation on that pattern.<BR><BR>I understand women who know they are part of a partnership in marriage and work equally with family members to achieve goals.<BR><BR>I understand women who reach out to stretch their powers of thinking and learning while in a life model which may not encourage this.<BR><BR>I understand women who recognize the value of their existence to people with whom they come in contact.<BR><BR>I understand women who value teamwork and are willing to help by volunteering their time and their talents for even the most mundane of tasks.<BR><BR>I understand women who recognize in themselves their limitations and fears yet have learned to cope in life despite them.<BR><BR>Each of us can look at the women around us and find a fit for the most part for understanding. Yet there are some women, some men as well, I don’t understand. <BR><BR>I don’t understand the petty person who indulges in oneupmanship over others. I believe that person has few friends.<BR><BR>I don’t understand the persons who fail to become aware of the movement of life around them and blames others for this failure.<BR><BR>I don’t understand the hostile person who disapproves of change and resents others who work to achieve it.<BR><BR>I don’t understand the persons who are passionate about their own point of view but fail to consider other viewpoints.<BR><BR>I don’t understand people who have no vision of the progressive evolution and constant commitment needed for a community to survive.<BR><BR>At times in all of our lives we may be some of each of these persons. At our worst we are petty, narrow minded, stubborn, hateful, ill informed, prejudiced and plain nasty.<BR><BR>If the silent majority is silent it must be because it approves of the way government is being run. That’s something I understand and will continue to believe has value.