Gran's Apple Butter Blog

July 12, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Weight Limits (6/V)

Chapter 6 ~ Weight Limits

     Learning to communicate with ourselves involves looking for our own answers. This wasn’t how Gran was raised. She’d been taught to obey the words of her elders as though they were book, chapter, and verse, to look to others for the answers. Somehow, “others” always knew better, although Gran wasn’t sure just how that came to be.

     Our tendency to put certain people up on pedestals concerned her. For one thing, Gran didn’t think anyone deserved to be in charge automatically, whether by birth date, body part, or bullhorn. The responsibility of leadership had to be earned.

     Other than that, Gran believed we should respect and love and care for each other, just as we do for ourselves, that old Golden Rule. But that was a long way from looking to others for our answers. As we journey along, Gran said, it’s important to make up our own minds about things, rather than counting on someone else’s fingers. It’s like copying homework. If you don’t study the lesson yourself, you won’t realize when you mark down a wrong answer, which can lead to a whole heap of trouble and an awful lot of red ink.

     Besides, Gran had heard about the dangers of high altitudes on top those pedestals. The air gets thin up there, which makes it hard to think clearly, and sooner or later can lead to toppling off. Gran said she’d crashed enough times to develop a healthy respect for heights, so she’d quit climbing on pedestals about the same time she quit trying to stick ‘em underneath other people.

     It was tough when she first started looking for her own answers. The hardest part wasn’t the search itself, though – the hardest part was letting go of her guilt for daring to look for her own answers in a world that doesn’t overly encourage self-determination. Daring to disappoint others is never easy, especially those who are sure they know the answers, and especially if those people are important in your life. But, she said, it was well worth the effort.

     One thing about it, trying to transfer do-it-my-way answers to someone else can be a pretty heavy load on a relationship bridge – well over the double-axle weight limit. Bridges collapse under all that weight, Gran said, and the people they connected go separate ways. They may try to rebuild that connection, but sometimes they don’t.

     Whatever they decide, those who learned from that experience tend to put up bigger weight limit signs on future bridges, and pay more attention to the ones they see posted.

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010-2011. All rights reserved.
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