Can Sarah Palin truly be a learning channel, a conduit that sparks us to learn, grow, change for the better? Some of us don't agree with most of her actions, but we can't argue with the fact she is a success story. She's the proverbial small town girl who made good. She has pluck, courage, gumption. Dares to speak her mind. Be who she is. Laughs off her gaffes. Has down home values, aw shucks plain talk, rough and tumble frontier spirit. No wonder Sarah Palin is at the top of the list of most admired women in this country. She speaks to us, like us. Even if we don't like what she is saying.
Sarah Palin makes news. Someone said, "Hey, if she didn't look the way she does." Yes if she looked like a witch or hag then she probably wouldn't be so popular but she doesn't. We follow the doings of entertainers, athletes, just plain pretty people much more closely and with much more interest than we do our elected officials so why should she be an exception. We are a nation of image, of illusion. We buy it hook line and sinker. We are also narcissistic. A look at all the reality shows is a sure clue we like to admire ourselves with an, aha, I can be on television too. I'm a housewife, I'm a worker, I can dance, sing. I'm like these people. I'm somebody. I'm worthy. Look at me.
Well, front page news folks. We're all somebody. We are all worthy. Sarah Palin too. What can Sarah Palin's worth be to those who abhor her actions, policies, who can't abide Sarah Palin either selling her television show, her books or running for office. What can Sarah Palin teach us? Okay naysayers give me a chance, - please.
When Sarah Palin cheered her daughter show after show on Dancing With The Stars no matter if her dancing was good, bad or indifferent one could see the love in her eyes, how proud she was of her daughter's efforts. My mom used to tell me to 'act smart' so I appreciate unconditional love and support wherever I find it. The fact that Bristol Palin drove from Alaska to Los Angeles to be on the show, well I can't imagine myself embarking on a feat of this caliber. I admire these pioneer women who can stand toe to toe with any man, grab the bull by the horns, make do with what they have and come out on top. She was the Vice Presidential candidate qualified or not after all. So I thought what, how can I learn from Sarah Palin? What is she doing that can teach me?
Sarah Palin's statement: "unless you've never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather chair or eaten meat, save your condemnation". Shooting a highly compliant animal with a high-powered rifle and making that statement ranks up there with my spinster aunt advising my thrice-married cousin she would end up an old maid if she didn't change, but it spurred me to examine my actions. I let rats live in my attic for years until I found a humane way to get them to leave but I buy meat neatly wrapped so it never resembles anything that once had life. I sometimes kill spiders if they're too close to my bed but I try to donate to PETA, NDRC and other groups to assuage my conscience.
Growing up I used to laugh at my "recycling mom" reusing aluminum foil, plastic bags and bottles, darning anything torn, never wasting a thing, not even water. My dad used to ask if anyone was in the basement and grumble "I don't have shares with Edison" when he turned off the lights on my deaf in one ear mom hearing no response. Now I do the same. I visited a logging camp first hand (a long story of taking the wrong road), while television footage of plastic bottles in the ocean, seals trapped in plastic wires made me vow to be more open, more aware of what I do and don't do.
I am of the school of not hurting myself and not hurting others, taking care of myself so I can help take care of others, using everything that comes to me to learn and to grow. Took me a while to get to this place but rest assured it was worth the trip. I know from experience it's hard to change ourselves, forget about trying to change anyone else. Sarah Palin will be Sarah Palin and hunt and chop and make s'mores no matter what I say.
So I thought, don't preach, practice. Sow what you want to reap. Maybe that is what I am to learn from Sarah Palin. The 'let them eat dessert', 'chop down the tree', ' shoot the animal' are wake up calls. How can I help to end factory farming, puppy, pet mills, the destruction of our forests, wildlife, natural resources not to mention ourselves with food that literally kills us while supporting greedy companies that get us coming and going in a vicious cycle while corporations laugh all the way to the bank. Sarah Palin isn't our problem. Who is she representing? If it's not us, then let's take our heads out of the sand and stop being hypocrites in an out of sight out of mind attitude and let all the Sarah Palins use their faulty logic to goad us into acting in a more conscientious responsible way with ourselves, our loved ones, other sentient beings, not to mention our environment, resources, our planet. Who knows, maybe Sarah Palin will wake up one day and spread that unconditional love to all of us, yes even the caribou. Don't laugh folks. A lot has come to pass we never thought would happen. Until then she can remind us to change, improve ourselves, be the change we want to see, the people we want ourselves to be.