My thoughts on my morning run were of people that I hate.  Pretty quickly, I realized that I don’t hate any human beings as I hate mushy peas and liver. Trust me, with mushy peas and liver, the feelings go beyond dislike. I could add water chestnuts to that list too.  I may not be happy with or condone a person’s behavior but I don’t hate the person.My fellow humans are a source of joy and constant amazement thus there can be no hate in my psyche.

My feelings of not hating came from growing up in a household where I was loved unconditionally by my parents. I was a middle daughter where my brother was cherished because he was an older male, single child for a long time, my younger sisters cherished because they were “the babies”. I was in the middle, expected to excel in my tasks; pragmatically get tasks and chores done. I accepted this family role.

My sisters with their beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes were cherished for their beauty and grace. I was tall, strong and independent with a muscular frame suited to tennis; green eyes and light auburn hair. I observed, I read and I devoured everything science of math that came my way. I watched frog’s eggs hatch, I cataloged plants on our farm and slept in the birthing stalls during foaling season. I loved having a living laboratory in my backyard; building boats sailing them in a nearby creek. As my sisters enjoyed popularity and social events, I learned to care for livestock; call the vet, if needed assist and watch life happen loving every animal and plant. I was a tennis, soccer and lacrosse player with a lethal serve and volley game.

Though I wasn’t an introvert but pursued solitary tasks, my father and uncle loved my quest for figuring out nature and life along with my constant chatter. I knew that I wanted to be a research scientist; loving chemistry and physics. I remember explaining a simple pulley system that my brother used to repel off our silo one summer. He was in his early twenties and I had yet to enter my teens. I figured out how to make his system safe and reliable. I also used it on a regular basis dropping 25 feet rapidly but slowing when the landing was within 2 feet.

My father and uncle loved that I loved anything that moved mechanically. I would watch planes flying over heading to the international airport with tears in my eyes at the sight of the Concorde. I ended up flying the Concorde for one flight into Paris with my uncle. He said that if I could explain how the engines worked, we would take a flight. It was magic for me. I was the same when I would wave at train engineers from the windows of his downtown medical office. He loved how I was comfortable traveling across Europe at age 15 just before I entered university.

For an independent and adventurous young woman who had no fears, I couldn’t have learned to hate, myself or others.  I only knew love and acceptance from my father and uncle, the first physicians I encountered. While my Mum and Auntie clearly preferred my very feminine sisters and my older brother, I was my father’s daughter and my uncle’s daughter. I loved them, absorbed every word, learned the tenets of my faith and my work ethic. As I look back, the unconditional love and acceptance of my youth shaped my love and infinite acceptance of humanity.


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