Cool, clear water
edited: Saturday, November 01, 2008
By Janet C Saugstad
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, November 01, 2008
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My title, cool, clear water, is taken from one of those old western movies that were popular until the late 1960's. Recently cowboy movies have made a comeback, but they are much more violent and lurid.
Those earlier versions reflected how Americans once thought of themselves -- being able to face their own problems without a support group. Somehow it seems that we forgot that we got through The Great Depression without finding the right support group, right therapist and combination of expensive psychotropic medications.
Frederick Law Olmsted, was an at risk child about 150 years before that term was coined. Now experts keep insisting that children as young as three need professional intervention if they are going to have any kind of life at all. Otherwise parents ought to just throw in the towels, I guess.
Mr. Olmsted came to his fame rather late in life, according to these experts whose dictatorial advice dominates our society. As a child, he was obstinate and sent to live with a preacher, who regularly caned him while quoting scripture. At the age of 18, he left that behind and became a sailor on one of the independent freight vessels.
During a violent storm, somewhere in the Indian Ocean, Olmsted fell from the rigging on the main mast and broke his leg. He was in bed, recuperating for about six weeks. Once he was able to walk again, the ship's captain insisted that he pull double shifts to make up for the long recovery period.
New Yorkers would not have Central Park if Olmsted had ever been indoctrinated to believe that because he didn't have the ideal childhood, he would never achieve his dreams. That's why so many young children are on social security disability today. Someone believes today's experts without reading any real history.
And when it comes to stress, the citizens of Gettysburg suddenly had all kinds of it from about four directions at once. Their sleepy little town was not of any real strategic value prior to the opening salvo of artillery, July 2, 1863.
At battle's end, they had massive grief. Nursing the wounded meant listening to them scream themselves to death, most often. Then they had to bury all the dead, and make repairs to their battered town. History records that they did all of this in about 4 1/2 months, just in time for Lincoln's most famous speech. Sigmund Freud had not been born, and no grief expert existed. They had their faith and their sense of community.
Why do you think you need anything more than they had?