I was/am one of those. I managed in my early 20s though drug addled alcoholism to aquire my GED. I then settled down to basically work any blue collar job I could find. I got clean & sober.
It didn’t occur to me then that I had anything more to offer. I didn’t believe that I any real worth or value. So I settled for less. But I never stopped thinking (learning). It wasn’t until I turned 50 that I realized I had a voice and most importantly that I had something to say. This is when I began to take my (self)education seriously.
What I have to say today differs greatly from what I had to say as a precocious 12 year old working on the McGovern campaign. The disillusionment of that loss coupled with the Watergate fiasco helped to push me into “the age of apathy” which ensnared so many of my generation.
It was not all bad though, as it forced me after getting sober to start reevaluating all of my preconceived notions of political society, economics, egalitarianism and civilization.
Pick the thing that hurts your heart the most in your community, and roll up your sleeves and fight to make it better. If you have a burden for education, start there. Volunteer in an underprivileged school, start a literacy program, do something!
Yes, do something!…and so I have, although it actually predates the election. It is the reason I’m here on Medium. The voice I have and the words that emanate from it shall come through writing. This appears to be the best of all places to learn how to do that. By reading, writing and interacting with those that write for pleasure as well as those who write out of obligation or occupation.
This particular writing is so very beautiful and necessary for me to have read. It perfectly describes all that which I’ve been unable to adequately articulate. This is not the end; only a new beginning. I wish Medium would do whatever they could to endorse and push this article. We all need to be reminded that first and foremost we’re friends, relatives, neighbors, citizens. None of us is “the enemy” and all of us have a responsibility to love each other.
Put down the pitchforks…we’re all Americans.
Thank you Traci Schmidley