It’s nice to look back sometimes. It’s difficult to turn around and look sometimes too, but moving back to Portland has made me do a lot of it. If I’d have been able to articulate my world view before I left my hometown, it would have sounded something like this…
In this world where I am disconnected from my neighbors, fearful of strangers, and isolated from the person I want to be, I find myself still believing in the checks and balances system that schoolbooks sold me about our government. I punch clocks, kick walls, and complain about the $6.92 cents that gets taken out of my check to support welfare every year. I speak openly about my dislike of foreign aid, while refusing to admit that 2/3 of that money returns to the gun companies that made all 47 of my weapons. I reject any belief that didn’t originate from a classroom, a church sermon, or a news program. And, I secretly despise people who are free of their social programming. I even try to stunt their process when I can. I grew up in the armpit of a world that exists between Sandy, Oregon and the Lloyd Center in Portland… and I have never left.
Presently, I know some real gems that were carved here… but am frustrated to have moved back to the Portland area and run into so many small town minds. It’s disguised in unique beard styles and trendy bars, but it is exactly what I witnessed in that panhandle of Texas town which had more tumbleweeds than people with compassion.
I’m sharing this with hope of inspiring compassion in someone who really needs it, but knowing that most of the people who read it are chalked full of warm, gentle, compassionate goodness. Thank you for that.
— leest1 —