Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ZENITH (04/21/16)
- TITLE: Born to Protest
By Pat Small
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When my stepfather made unreasonable rules, I took exception, left home, and moved in with an aunt and uncle while I finished my last few months of school.
In high school, I protested loudly when I was accused of cheating, all because I could write shorthand faster than my competitor. Of course, no one could determine how a person could cheat on such an exercise. I was exonerated.
On my first job, I was vocal about the pay scale. The other stenographer received more money because she graduated from business school. I had only completed high school. She could not read her shorthand (I read it for her); nor could she operate the mimeograph machine, a large part of our duties. Rules are rules, so I changed jobs. I wondered, briefly, when my protesting would reach its peak, and I would enjoy a more peaceful co-existence. It was not just around the corner, I must confess.
On my next job, we transcribed reports re inmates requesting pardons and or commutations. I felt it was unfair for us to prepare those messy “ditto” copies, which stained hands, faces and even our clothing, and yet have no idea how hearings proceeded. My mild, but frequent, remonstrances resulted in our attendance at a hearing. My curiousity was satisfied, but I was not finished.
Our office also maintained files on the incarcerated in our state. I thought we should visit one of the penal institutions. The state prison was my first choice, but I contented myself with the women’s reformatory. Coming off two victories, I should have been content, but something always needed my attention.
When my husband entered Bible school in preparation for full time Christian ministry, I felt obligated to confront the school president because spouses were not offered reduced tuition. He was sympathetic, but of course was powerless to effect change. Surprisingly, my husband was not asked to leave, and take his insubordinate wife with him.
On we went to prepare for missionary service. Mission board officials criticized me for not knowing how far the silverware should be from the table’s edge. Instead of graciously accepting correction, I responded we were thankful we had food, and certainly were not concerned about placement of silverware. Once again, they resolved to be patient with an uncouth country girl, and do their best to educate her.
Finally,guests in a foreign land, I should have tamed my rhetoric. I did not. I protested the education department’s refusal to donate books to help me teach our believers to read. When they understood I did not expect payment, they happily gave me all I needed.
When I started a rehab center for drug addicts, I strenuously objected to opposition from all who resisted. Conquering that fight, I moved on to government officials, supermarkets, churches, and any unsuspecting person who entered my orbit. A combination of protests, guilt trips, and wheedling garnered many of the items we needed to furnish the center.
Helping the elderly cope with illness in a socialized medicine country, I held heated debates with government employed doctors on behalf of “my people”. Usually, I was victorious. No blood was shed in these skirmishes.
I constantly advanced my protests to greater heights. When would I be satisfied? Everyone who knew me wondered and prayed for the day.
Back in the United States, I marched and protested at every opportunity in Washington, as well as the state capitol, to make my convictions known. Obamacare, bathroom bill, immigration - you name it. I gladly shared my feelings.
Unofficial prognostications indicate I will lay down my placard just outside the pearly gates, having finally arrived. Until then, have poster…will protest.
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