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  •  ditto: good idea (3+ / 0-)

    but I think it should go back earlier than teen years. Many of us were abused as small children.

    And yes, sherlyle, I think I am a more compassionate person because of the challenges I've had throughout my life. The impact of my life experiences have deeply impacted both my spirituality and my politics.

    People often ignore (repress?) their bad experiences and my guess is that they could be from any part of the political spectrum.

    A sad/funny anecdote that may support your point, however:

    Many years ago, I met a very nice but conservative woman. We had some significant things in common and became friends. As our friendship grew, she ended up confiding in me about a serious abusive situation she had endured and asked me for help, both as a confidante and a provider of professional contacts. After lots of hard work on her part, she came to some peace of mind and is thriving.

    And she has become an outspoken liberal!

    Was that because of coming to grips with her history or because she was brainwashed by me?? :>)

    "You can count on Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else." -- Winston Churchill

    by bleeding heart on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:16:32 AM PDT

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    •  Did she become a Liberal because she was (2+ / 0-)

      "liberated" from her fear?  
      Fascinating, bleeding heart.  About the childhoods, your remark certainly rings true.  And I agree that most who've had the strength to endure and survive such a childhood are far wiser, far kinder than most.  So..did we survive with souls mostly intact because we were already possessed of natures more likely to forgive, to find value in a life that had been unforgivable, or did our natures change as we suffered these things because we learned fallibility and compassion?
      I read something in a scifi/fantasy book once that has stayed with me.  It was about a secret organization of women used to torture states' enemies..they were reknowned for their expertise in all things cruel.  
      Recruiters for this "club" would travel all over the land asking villagers if they knew of any particularly "nice" little girls, children who were particularly soft-hearted and kind.  It was these children who were recruited, because "only the kindest hearts are capable of the greatest cruelty.  Only the kindest truly understand how to destroy a spirit".  Yow.

      •  Good thing it was sci fi . . . (2+ / 0-)
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        historys mysteries, sherlyle

        I was one of those good little girls, perfect. I was always tapped to take care of others, even as a child. My "niceness" was exploited. To be honest, I can't imagine being turned into a cruel person. A smartoff mouth, yes, but not cruel.

        I didn't stop being nice, but it took me years to find my soul and purpose, and that journey was not without its own missteps.

        For me, it was the combination of background and events that shaped -- and continue to shape -- me.

        "You can count on Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else." -- Winston Churchill

        by bleeding heart on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:54:14 AM PDT

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        •  So much for the idea that the past is past, eh? (2+ / 0-)

          I wish I could think of a clever way to say you're doing great (I always take the time to read your posts) and give you encouragement, or something that would help, bleeding heart.  Can't think of anything.  But if you could see my face, you'd see tears in my eyes, and respect, and affection.  For the good little girl you were, and for the strong, fascinating, complicated, and goodhearted person you've become.  Salute.

          •  You are too kind, but thank you. (1+ / 0-)
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            sherlyle

            I have been lucky. Many good things have happened in my life. In no way would I suggest that bad things happen for a reason but I have been the beneficiary of some wisdom that helped put my life experiences in perspective. I hope the young girl and her mom have the same good fortune as I.

            Read my posts? You're a sweetie! A latte (or other beverage of choice) on me if we meet up a yKos!

            "You can count on Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else." -- Winston Churchill

            by bleeding heart on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 12:56:15 PM PDT

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