Actually it’s not just my neighbors, it’s the entire country. It seems like every time I turn on the news somebody is scalding somebody for something they did, something they believe, or maybe for nothing much at all. Have you noticed?
I can’t remember ever seeing so much wild-eyed rudeness in my lifetime. Insults, name-calling, vitriol, invective, shaming. Just state a position and someone is going to pop up and try to disassemble you for it. It doesn’t matter what you’re for, someone is going to let you know how inexplicably stupid you are for supporting it. It doesn’t matter what you’re against, someone is going to go ballistic about how you may be bringing about the end of civilization as we know it. You’ve watched this happen so you know that what I’m describing is not much of an exaggeration.
What’s going on? Maybe the Grinch didn’t steal Christmas, after all…maybe he stole decency, or civility, or…kindness?
Actually I’m not so much trying to answer the question, Why? That could be a very long or a very short answer depending on your perspective. The question I want to attempt to answer is, So? I mean, it is what it is but what do we do about it? Look the other way? Assume it’s just a rude anomaly and it will heal on its own?
Well, let me tell you about my plan.
Actually I can’t claim it as mine; I read about it in an old Book. Seems there was this very unique Man with a very unique plan. He taught that the way to bring peace and joy in the world was to love each other. And a key component of love is respect. See, I can disagree with what you believe and still have deep respect for who you are. It’s not because I agree with you that I love you, it’s because you’re my brother (or sister). Harmony doesn’t happen because all the instruments are playing the same note, but because the players – and the Conductor – all want the same harmonious outcome.
Let me press that metaphor just a bit. As I approach the little church on the corner I am distracted by a cacophony of noise – horns honking, planes flying over, kids hollering. I can hardly hear myself think. But as I step through the front door I am suddenly in the midst of a calm. Not necessarily silence, but calm. Peace. Harmony. Respect. Unity. Even disagreement but without being disagreeable. Love. I like it in here.
By Don Jacobsen