The delightful children’s chorus, one nearly all Americans learn as youth, has an insidious underlying meaning. Yes, yes, we’ve all heard the associations — the song dates back to the London Plague of 1665. (Well, some say it does. Others dispute this claim, tying the song to childish courtship games and pagan history.) I’m not here to argue for either case; rather, I am amused by the fact that something so appealing on the surface can actually mean something so somber.
This world has become (has always been?) a very dark place. On the surface, and as children, it appears exciting and alluring — and it is! There is so much beauty and light and love to be had. It is a gift to simply live. But it’s a shame our children have us as examples. It’s a shame what we’ve done with our gift.
I do not mean to be depressing. It is, perhaps, my introverted nature that brings me down. But it is sad to me what we’ve become. From the excited, loving faces I beheld in the first grade classroom last school year to . . . To the weary, downtrodden, self-seeking faces of today.
Life never had to be like this. We made it this way. We collectively, not individually, but it’s up to us individually to make a change. I’m starting a new job next week — I’ll be a technical writer for the Sonoma County Water Agency (a good thing to have during a drought!) — and I’m hoping that this will be my opportunity for positive impact. I can be helpful, respectful, kind, hard-working. I can go above and beyond my job expectations — I can be a good person. And someday, when I get back to teaching, I can do the same for my students. We should never forget that we are an example for the generations behind us.
I may never regain my youthful naivety and innocence, but may I never lose my ability for wide-eyed wonder. My heart is full of love for the lost planet I call home. There is beauty yet — in all of us. Maybe someday we can make our meaning match our name.
Source: Ring Around the Rosies Folklore and History
Image: Google, quote by Jason Donohue