Pippa Passes and So Do We

Pippa Passes, by Robert Browning

Mamacita says: Welcome to my TEDTalk. Something Joe Trester wrote a few days ago has stayed with me. People, we never know what kind of influence we have on others whose existence we barely know about. Robert Browning’s “Pippa Passes” is about a sweet, naive young mill girl who, on her only day off for the entire year, strolls through her village making a positive impression on people without even knowing it. She walked by, maybe exchanged a word or two, and was gone out of their lives, never to return, and yet, their lives were changed by this sweet, smiling, singing, naive girl, for the better.

Pippa’s song

As I re-re-re-re-re-re-read “Angel in Heavy Shoes,” part of Lenora Mattingly Weber’s YA series about Katie Rose Belford, who was studying “Pippa Passes” in her high school lit class, I am really affected by Katie Rose’s realization that while it’s not hard at all to imagine a sweet young girl having this kind of influence on others, it’s also true that people who are not sweet, not naive, not young, not nice, and not even civil can have the same effect. In this book, a character just out of reform school, by just being himself and existing, has a positive influence on almost every other character in the novel. All of us walk past others without thinking about them, every day. (Well, not right now, but ordinarily.) They would see us, maybe hear us, and who knows whether or not an overheard word or a smile might influence someone positively, even save a life. I’ve been influenced by strangers in public, in both positive and negative ways. I can remember things someone said years ago, even today. Even if we don’t actively remember, the mind never lets go of a thing. It’s in us and affecting us when we don’t even realize it. Likewise our words and smiles on others, people we didn’t even notice and couldn’t pick out of a lineup.

Pippa, passing.
Pippa passing

During these parlous times, when people are so quick to pass judgment (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) let us try to remember that the scope of influence is larger than we can imagine. Let us try harder. Pippa had one day off for the entire year, and inadvertently influenced many strangers in a positive way by just walking around and being herself. Many of us have been off for weeks. (maybe all our lives – none of that, now!) Tempers are flaring. Frustrations are building up. None of us is the same person we were a month ago. Being ourselves is harder because we’re learning who this new self really is.

Do I have to have a point? I guess I can drag one in by the hind legs and just say, “Let’s all try harder to be better tomorrow than we were today.” It’s difficult, but not impossible. We can at least try.

Nick Fury Gets It

Mamacita says: We have a tantrum-throwing toddler placed in a seat of power, on purpose, by people who knew better but chose its opposite. ON PURPOSE.

” How desperate am I? You threaten my world with war. You steal a force you can’t hope to control. You talk about peace and you kill ’cause it’s fun. You have made me VERY desperate. You might not be glad that you did.” — Nick Fury

Nick Fury

Thank you, Nick Fury. You summed up our situation perfectly. Our current resident evil and the flying monkeys under his spell cannot be tolerated. Even Captain America understands the analogy.

Captain America

America Has No King

The Founding Fathers of America

Mamacita says: Our country’s founders were adamant that it NOT be ruled by a king, hence the limited terms, lack of regal protocol, and very necessary checks and balances. America has no king. America has no ruler at all; it has a system of elected temps who are supposed to represent their area’s population, and which are supposed to change every few years to prevent apathy and elitism. To proclaim himself a supreme ruler of any kind, with authority to do whatever he wants, is a violation of what America is. He has declared himself above the law, and an exception to the boundaries set in the Constitution. He is a travesty and a shameful joke with no punch line. He has no morals, no ethics, no sense of shame, no propriety, no learning, no humor, no schema, no literacy, and no knowledge of America and what it takes to be a proper president. He’s a nasty piece of work, inside and out. He’s just nasty. Shame on all who still support him.

This, Too, Shall Pass

“This, too, shall pass” is a statement that brings comfort to many of us. It’s a really old adage, originating in ancient Persia. Before he became president, Abraham Lincoln quoted it. “It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’ It will, you know. As long as we are wise and cautious, and put our selfish wants aside for a while, this, too, shall pass. It will pass even despite selfish, childish people who demand their rights and privileges in the very face of their grandmother’s death sentence, but it will take longer. Every person who ventures outside without a mask, and for frivolous purposes, is both a murderer and a victim. I applaud the nurses who are blocking the streets. I’m somewhat surprised that the militant people who are demanding their rights haven’t mown down anyone who gets in their way, though. I’m glad, but I’m surprised. The kind of people who make demands in times of crisis are the very kind of people who wouldn’t think twice about driving over a nurse who was trying to make them see reason and yelling “Yee HAWWWW” as they did it.

Why Are People So Helpless?

Mamacita says: Why are people these days so darned helpless? As I re-re-re-re-re-re-re- read my super old YA novels for the kazillionth time, it impresses me again that almost every pre-teen and teen in these books knows how to cook, sew, and clean a house. Male and female, these kids knew how to do the things everyone should know how to do but hardly anybody seems to know these days, especially kids the same age as the kids in these books. 13-year-old Beany takes her turn cooking for the entire large family, a full week per month. The Melendy kids canned and preserved food. Katie Rose’s mother trusted her to feed and care for a big family while she (the mom) was gone for a few months. Laura, Mary, Carrie, and Grace knew how to cook from garden to table, preserving along the way. Even the poorest of families raised kids who knew how to take care of the house and kitchen. What happened to us? Why are so many people so helpless now?

Easter 2020

Mamacita says: Happy Easter, everyone.

What? Oh, oops. . . . .

Here. This is more like it. I do love those vintage Easter postcards.  Mom used to buy the Easter Ideals every year, and I loved the poems and pictures.  I hated growing up and finding out that those baby kittens were probably going to eat those baby chicks. I would also hate to have to tell you all how old I was before I realized that the bunnies weren’t really responsible for all those eggs.

But ultimately, this is Easter to me.

And isn’t it wonderful that so many of us, with so many different beliefs, can hang out here in the Blogosphere and get along great and love each other without having to constantly proselytize and try to sway each other to our own beliefs?

Oh, sure, those people are online too, but I don’t pay much attention to them.

Lately, there’s been a lot of meanness in our country, but I refuse to believe that the majority of people are represented by  Donald Trump and Mike Pence and their brand of Republicans.  The backlash against these criminals,  their minions and their horrific behaviors has proven that most people – at least, the educated people – definitely do not approve.  It’s a good feeling, because if I really thought the majority of people thought that those two and their cohorts were even in the least bit a good idea, I’d have to move away.  Which, most  many days, doesn’t seem all that bad to me. . . .

It’s the people whose beliefs are quietly lived every day, the people who show me by example what their values are, who get my attention.

And who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor? If you don’t believe me, just look around for a minute or two. Think of your family.

And if you’re alone, look in the mirror.

See?

Happy Easter, dear internet people. Eat chocolate. Smile. Have some eggs. Rejoice over something.

It’s a good day for rejoicing. . . .