Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Footnote Me

I recently found myself in a high school English literature room. As is common in an English room, there were dozens of uplifting and inspiring posters lining the walls:

"Silent and Listen use the same letters..." (Ooooohhh!!! Never noticed that!)

"Be careful what you think: they become your words. Be careful of your words: they become your actions. Be careful of your actions..."

Sadly, no kittens hanging from baskets. Don't kids need a reminder to just "Hang in There" anymore? What's become of our world?

Amongst the cheerful pick-me-up phrases and Scare 'em Straight Anti-drug campaigns was a poster of about 20 of the most important English literary figures of the 20th century. I gazed at their somber, sepia-toned expressions for a moment before settling back into my oh-so-comfortable poured plastic desk chair.

Who were they? I have no clue. What did they write? It's beyond me. Does it matter? Only on an English test. Does anything that they wrote truly matter? Did they make the impact that they surely struggled and strove to make? Your guess is as good as mine. All I know is that 20 highly literate people had dreams and aspirations to become something greater than themselves and wound up as blurry, laminated little photos that nobody ever truly recognizes, taped upon a cinderblock wall.

I don't personally claim to be anything more than I appear. I AM a 34 year old, SAHM of 3. I'm Midwest, Middle Income, and nearly Middle-aged. I'm suburban, average weight, average height (ok, I'm kinda short), and average looking.

Summed up: I'm a fairly average person.

But I, just like everyone else, am much MORE than that! Appearances can only go so far. How much can my outward appearances and social demographics truly tell you about how I appear on the inside?

I am easy to please but quick to anger (and don't even get me started on how righteous I can be about the injustices of our world).

I love eating, reading, talking, listening and sex (not in that order).

I am happiest when I am in the front row of a roller coaster, just about to careen over that first hill. Elbows to my ears and screaming without pause; I adore that anticipation before the drop.

I often cry for those who have suffered and are suffering. The vastness of the humanitarian need on Earth astounds my heart...

What can be said about every person who has ever put a string of words together? We all share the same desires: to be heard, to be understood, to be admired, and to be remembered.

I don't think I'll ever be laminated and slapped upon a high school wall. But wouldn't it be cool to be footnoted somewhere?

What's your dream for your words?


Julie said...

One relative wrote a book of stories about life when he grew up. It makes me laugh a lot. I used it in a speech class once. I put one of the entries on my blog one day. I've gotten several emails saying they have the book, too and love it just as much. So I guess my wish for my words is to be remembered, not by great masses, but by family members down the line. To think, "she was a cool person. I'd like to have known her."

Debbie said...

I have always wanted to know who decided which people to laminate and hang on a wall as well as which ones are the "greats". It's fascinating to me to think of that.

Debbie said...

I'm always curious about the ones that don't make the laminated posters. Especially when it comes to such subjective topic matter as the arts. What are the criteria? And who decides that, too?


we are reilly said...

my dream for my words are that my words match my actions, that my words and actions influence my children and my family to make the right choices, choose the right path in life, that my words and actions demonstrate to the world my passion for others, my passion to pour out love and compassion with my friends, family and those in need.......a tall order for my words, huh?

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