by Cathy Leestma

Recently as a new patient in my Dr.’s office, I was asked to fill in several pages of personal information while waiting to be seen. I am sure you know the drill, they want to know everything and then some and well, it takes a bit of concentration, if you know what I mean. As I began the process of completing the forms, I became increasingly aware and agitated not only at the choice of the radio station in the waiting room but the constant drone of salespeople selling their goods. It didn’t take long for me to reach a boiling point asking the receptionist if they could please lower the volume so I could concentrate.

Her look told me the answer to my question, and before I knew it, those two words escaped me. As I turned to go back to my seat, I said in a far too hardy reply to her non-reply…”JUST SAYIN’.”

And there in a nutshell, you have it. As a member of the Boomer generation, I now know and have known for some time the look of condescending younger folks, whatever generation they belong to. 

Now, I am not one bit proud of my “just sayin’,” swagger. No, I was brought up with manners and respect for my elders. So, it doesn’t help my case…the Boomer case, at all for me to react in such a way. But sometimes, I just want to say, “Hey, under this crown of sterling hair there is a really fun person who still thinks she’s 16 and can do anything.”  So younger friends, give us Boomer’s a break.  If I ask you nicely to help me or to repeat a question I couldn’t hear, please respond in a kind way. Trust me, you’ll be in our shoes soon enough. 

Mr. Rogers is finally getting his due. His much loved children’s program ran from 1968-2001 and his gift to the children seemed always to be sharing the truth of the subject he was teaching. There are so many good quotes from the lessons he taught. Here’s one,“ Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.” He was quoted as saying that TV should be nourishment for the human family. Imagine what that might look and sound like. Watching Mr. Rogers, I am taught to take a deep breath and be interested in the person talking to me instead of thinking about what interesting point I am wanting to make.

Finally, as we move into the second decade of the twenty-first century, I wish for all of our Mountain Breeze family of readers a Mr. Rogers kind of world where we all respect and treasure each other. I will work on being more patient, promise.

In the meantime, I think I’ll get my hearing checked. Just saying…