Getting your feelings hurt in this day and age, is a very complex and sensitive subject.
In the days of old, you just puffed up, stuck your lip out and pouted about it until it got someone’s attention. These days, you have a blog, Twitter or you go out, protest, tear down a few statues, spit in someone’s face, wave a flag in the air, punch someone in the face, yell racial epithets at someone or worse, kill someone and then tell the public or the media that you were made that way because of society.
There are things I don’t like in this world, but that doesn’t give me the right to go and make a total ass of myself, go out and kill someone and in the name of what I am protesting about and say society made me that way.
People awaiting a number to enter the Remote Area Medical event at the Wise County Fairgrounds, Wise, VA. (Photo by Remote Area Medical)
Upon first glance, it looks as though you are watching the evening news and the above picture is a photo of refugees fleeing a country or region in search of a better life.
But look closely. These are the faces of Americans. Appalachians. They are refugees. Healthcare refugees searching for free medical care that they cannot afford in the what is supposed to be the greatest country and humanitarian country on the face of the planet Earth.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill
Appalachia has a problem and if you haven’t already thought it or said it, change is needed for the area to prosper and get back on its feet.
Winston Churchill once said that attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Here in Appalachia, you could say that we have an attitude and that little thing called attitude makes a big difference. You can also add that some people need an attitude adjustment in Appalachia.
The thing is, I didn’t use those words “attitude adjustment” nor have I been listening to Hank Williams, Jr.’s Greatest Hits. The words “attitude adjustment” were words used by business owners in Martinsville and Henry County, VA recently at a community forum focusing on getting their region to thrive again.
Sadly their region is facing the same obstacles and attitudes that we are in Appalachia.
I republished my first blog entry entitled, “I am chained to Appalachia” on the new blog address recently.
I had originally published it on another service but after my wife and I were talking one night, she convinced me to start a new blog and purchase the domain name for the site, appalachianchained.com.
My blog was intended to share my reflections and thoughts of my feelings in the moment or my feelings about a particular topic of interest. For short, it’s personal opinion.
Which leads me to why I was surprised to see that my first blog entry had been shared by someone that I think very highly of. It was a compliment to see that this gentleman had shared it with his friends on his Facebook page.
What I was disappointed with was the reaction from just a few people. I know you can’t please everyone but one comment on my friend’s thread jumped out at me in such a way that I was at first angry, then disappointed at the response the man had given and directed at me.
Mark Linkous aka Sparklehorse
Recently, my thoughts focused back to an Appalachian whose roots were firmly planted in Appalachia despite being born in Northern Virginia and how he came to “embrace” Appalachia in his music and his roots.
His journey brought him, his mother and brother back to far Southwestern Virginia for a time then back to Northern Virginia. Eventually, his love for music led to success locally, then regionally and he traveled outside Appalachia before coming back to settle in the western North Carolina mountains, eventually moving across the mountains to East Tennessee, battling personal demons and then leaving us by taking his own life in an alley in Knoxville, TN on March 6, 2010.
I was born and reared in Appalachia.
I still live here today but sad to say, I am chained to Appalachia and to put it bluntly, with no disrespect intended, I am a slave to Appalachia and the system.
But after time, a slave to the system seeks freedom and seek change. I for one, am ready to break my chains. I’m ready to be emancipated.
As I was going through my Facebook news feed this morning, I found an unexpected surprise.
No, I didn’t receive a friend request from a girl that liked me when I was in elementary or high school and no, not a request from a Nigerian ambassador telling me that I had inherited a room full of stock in a worthless, non-existent oil company.
It was something much better.