Monday, January 18, 2010

I Have a Dream, Too

Last Wednesday morning, it was raining. I was walking toward a building behind a married couple. (The husband was in the lead, followed by the wife, and then me, a distant third.) At the double doors, the man opened one and entered without looking back and without holding the door for the two hot on his heels. To consider fellow human beings is obviously a courtesy I take for granted. Instead of allowing the door to close in her face, he could have held the door, even from inside the building if he preferred. After opening the door and beginning to enter, she held the door for me. This is a step toward my dream; for humans to consider one another.

Fancy sleeping with a man who is unable to consider you! I suppose most women of yesteryear experienced just that. If people never lost their ability to consider one another, perhaps Mary Wollstonecraft (1792), Anna Jameson (1832), and Margaret Fuller (1845), not to mention all the authors on female rights since, may not have felt compelled to put ink to paper at all. Let’s face it. The men of yesteryear with power were too busy worrying about securing their rights to speak as they wished, hold slaves if they wished, and to be able to vote if they wished. They were making certain they were justly represented in government and, like this modern day husband, they were far too concerned with their own obligations at hand, to consider neglected groups denied a voice, or those walking behind. How differently America would have been settled if those few with a voice were able to consider the masses!

Considering others is offering an ear, even though we believe we lack the time. It is being in traffic, seeing a red light up ahead, checking in the rear view mirror for stopping safely, and allowing those three cars to make their left turn into the shopping center. It is gathering up another’s plates since we are heading out to the kitchen ourselves. It is knowing that we have a very toxic work mate and so doing what we can for her. And it is holding the door for a fellow worker, even though we are married to him/her, and even though in our estimation, we do not have the time to spare.

My male cousin once held the door for a girl just behind him about to enter a university building in Australia. She socked him in the face to his great surprise. His thoughtfulness was interpreted as an accusation of weakness. Certainly, the husband knows his wife is capable of opening a door, and he was simply thoughtless in that moment. Children learn by example. Gentlemen make strong fathers. I have a dream, too.

Consideration. With it, we would not have, nor would we ever have had, any form of slavery. Consideration. With it, women would not have, nor would they ever have been unfairly judged and oppressed. Consideration. With it, one has to wonder if divorce would be so prevalent. Consideration. With it, a door is not allowed to slam in the face of another, “woman libber” or not. Consideration. With it, those in the lucrative business of suppressing would run out of heroes to assassinate, because there would be too many of us and too few bullets.
Martin Luther Kings would be the norm…
not the exception.

Yes, I Have a Dream, too.

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