Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A change of heart

I think the blue blends better with the car, right? :)
Change is not always what we expect. From the changing ages of our children, that bring fresh joy and unseen challenges, to the changing needs of our nation. Much like removing a sticker or bandage, change tugs constantly and stings a bit at times. Because no matter how inefficient, ineffective or unjust a situation may have been, it was still comfortable and familiar and well-fitted like an old shoe.
I was thinking today about the changes America has undergone in the past century and beyond. From women being allowed to own and inherit property, which paved the way to women as citizens rather than chattel, all the way to enfranchisement and full citizen rights. It is remarkable to think of just how much change has come to the various citizenry of our nation.
Southerners hold change at arms' length, and the fear of it close to their hearts. Growing up and changing in societal surroundings both uncomfortable and intense causes that wariness. Small towns change slowly, no mistake about that. It seems safer on the whole to simply build a wall than to consider good that may result.
My parents grew up in the times of desegregation in a small southern town. That change came hard. Wisps of southern male ideas of a woman's place also still broke through in casual conversation. It's no wonder desegregation came hard - some men barely realized women now had rights! Yet with each generation, an easing and an acceptance has fallen. A widening of the horizon of equality has opened up to many, if not all.

I mull over these things, trying to shake loose some meaning. Trying to grasp the climate of today and figure out how we got here. I am reminded of a quote I saved years ago, that resonated in me:
"Idealists are the salt of the earth; without them society would wither and fade."
Novel ideas are not always outlandish. Sometime they are necessary and just. Without our homegrown idealists, movements of change now synonymous with America would never have occurred.
Civil rights.
There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come.


  1. Great post again! You have a way with words Bethany.
    You make quotable quotes!
    When I saw the first picture I thought, "oh no" then I saw the new sticker, and I chuckled. :)

  2. I positively love that quote. I've been mulling around with quotes about idealism in my head trying to find something both poetic and undebatable. Something profound in its simplicity and unpretentious in its profundity. Try this one on, "the world is full of ideals, yet devoid of those capable of bringing those ideals to realization." Perhaps missing the mark at each stipulation, and tinged with misanthropy, but its funny to me that a quote about the absence of realization is a realization of the quote. Cheers!


Put it right here, babe!