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The "Queen of Hearts" Syndrome

Posted By: Linda Caroll
Date: Saturday, 21 October 2000, at 11:32 p.m.


When people live by the "Queen of Hearts" syndrome (my way, my way) they close the door to learning more.

I like to say that the mind, like a parachute, works best when open.

When I was a little girl, my grandpapa used to tell me:
"Little one, when you are listening you are learning. When you are talking, you are telling others what you have learned. Listen well and learn well and you will teach others well when you speak."

I have lived by those words. Sometimes I feel sad when I see people that do not know how to listen. You know.. the ones for whom "listening" means "waiting for their turn to speak"... but not really listening at all.

I pop over to this board everyday. I don't always post - but I always read. This board and the people here make me remember something else my grandpapa always said.

Mind if I share a story? I wrote this in 1998, and finally published it in 1999...

The Grey Knit Vest

When I was little, the sun rose & set on my Grandpapa. Frozen forever in time are memories of wire rimmed glasses and a grey knit vest that almost always had chocolate covered raisins in the left pocket. Grandpapa always read to me. I'd curl up beside him and listen, spellbound.

When Grandpapa got old & couldn't see well enough to read anymore, I read to him.
Agatha Christie. I'd read until his eyes closed and his head started to nod.

As I quietly got up, Grandpapa would reach into the pocket of his grey knit vest and pull out a box of chocolate covered raisins, pressing them into my teen-aged hand. Eyes still closed, he would whisper "I remembered".

Grandpapa always said things like; "You scratch my back an' I'll scratch yours," and "Share, little one. Sharing makes everything better." Somehow, everything always was better.

I'll never forget the call from the hospital. Grandpapa had suffered a massive stroke. Mom sobbing. Heartwrenching sobs. It was snowing that night. Great big fluffy snowflakes falling through the glow of the streetlight.

It's snowing this morning. Inevitable as the hands of time, big fluffy snowflakes fall through the glow of the streetlight. I sit and watch the snowflakes fall, walking down memory lane with a lump in my throat and a cup of coffee in my hands.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emmerson, "I used to always think that I'd look back on us crying and laugh, but I never thought I'd look back on us laughing - and cry."

How wise the words, "Sharing makes everything better." The need to reach out to another human being is instinctive, and as necessary as the air that we breathe.

It is my sincere hope that sharing this story with you will inspire you to share something of yourself. A kind word to a stranger perhaps, or a compliment to someone that deserves one. It is these small acts of sharing, and caring, that make this world a better place.

As the sun rises on a new day, I leave you with this thought;

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life
that no man can sincerely try to help another
without also helping himself.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson; 1803-1882)

by Linda Caroll

To Gordon, Dien, Rick, Ricky and the rest of you.. thank you for sharing yourselves with all of us here.

Linda Caroll


Copyright 2000 Linda Caroll and Seeds of Wisdom Publishing, All Rights Reserved.