All Mine
Off the Wall, February 2, 2017

I was talking to a physical therapist not too long ago about tidbits of this and that when she stopped our conversation and stated, “Your glasses are dirty. Give them to me. I’ll clean them for you.” It almost got to be a ritual visitation after visitation until I made up my mind one morning before her arrival that after breakfast, I would make sure my glasses were spotless and wouldn’t be embarrassed any more.

I’m sure she wasn’t asking me to put me down, so to speak. On the other hand, at least in my opinion, she was trying to be helpful.

Anyway, in kidding around, I said, “Since they are my glasses don’t I have the right to wear them that way if I so choose?” That brought on a whole other line of conversation.

It’s funny how one thing leads to another. She then proceeded to tell me about her daughter’s apparel just before she left for school one day.

“There she was walking out the door. Beth, did you know you have two different stockings on,” she said.

I don’t know the outcome of that embarrassing situation, but this is what I told “Mom.”

“You know, she has the right to wear any colored stocking on either leg because all the stockings are hers. If they were yours, then you may have some say to the matter, but in this case, she’s making the call and you have to go with it.”

There was no further discussion other than the fact that she commented, “I never thought of it that way.”

The people that will come down on her if they possibly do will be her peers. In the school system one’s fellow friends are the ones who call the shots.

It’s almost as though whatever youth decides to do as to be ‘trendy,’ parents will start to do the same thing.

I remember sometime back when female teens started adding colors of purple or blond to dark hair strands. It didn’t take long for adults starting to the same thing.

This behavioral pattern of conformity to societal norms became accepted, and it spread like wildfire.

Getting back to the “all mine” philosophy, I have been telling people for ages, “If I happen to wear a blue and a black sock, a tie that doesn’t match the rest of my suit, or even make a bad decision, the latter is “my bad,” as seems to be the latest expression, I have nobody else but me to blame.”

When I grew up I remember my parents teaching me the expression, “Keeping up with the Jones.’ The explanation went like this. If all the neighbor’s goods was equivalent to what was all mine in regards to materialistic wealth, everything was even keel. But as soon as the neighbor bought something new, I, too, had to buy something more if not as good, maybe something better.

I believe that people that think that was are insecure materialists who tend to live a gaudy lifestyle for the sake of trying to seek attention.

How many people have we seen walk about our hometown communities wearing flashing outfits, some with horns from the devil or a reindeer made in form of a headdress?

Oh, these people can say that these possessions are all theirs, so they can wear them anytime, any place. Who are we to judge to tell them what they can do and what they can’t.

The hard thing, in my opinion is to not cast judgment of any kind.

We are told in the scriptures, “It is God who justifies (Romans 8:33, New Revised Stand Version).” That means I can wear dirty glasses if I want, the physical therapist daughter can wear her stockings anyway she wants, female teens and adults can color their hair anyway they want, and the Jones’ can buy anything they want and it should not matter. We are not treat a person as to his or her appearance. Let’s leave the judging to God. Instead, we are to love others unconditionally without showing favoritism because of appearance, possessions, or lack of them.

As for me, you may see me about town wearing a helmet on my head. Even though this headpiece is all mine, I’m not trying to call attention to myself nor am I insecure, or trying to start a new fad.

Recently, I had a bout with post concussion syndrome. I call it “preservation of the noggin.”

- Paul J. Volkmann
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