I’m sitting here, eating a bowl of ice cream, and I’m trying to determine if I am angry a lot or just sometimes or what. There are times in my day when I am alone with my thoughts and often they turn to conversations between me, myself and I. Occasionally I let God in but mostly He just listens. Over the course of the last several years I have discovered there are several things that set me off, so to speak. Sometimes I wish it were just one thing, and then maybe I could just avoid that and move on with my life, but alas. I am sure there are multiple people who concern themselves with my sanity, but trust me, I’m good, thanks.
Typically, the things that bug me the most are things outside of my control, like the economy and world hunger. Other times, it’s as pithy as the way I see people treat each other, specifically regarding how inconsiderate some folks are (that one eats at me a lot I’m afraid), or the way people drive. Mostly, I am too often saddened by watching people claim to be one thing and live lives that clearly speak to something very different. It’s more than hypocrisy, really. To suggest mere hypocrisy is to suggest there is a single topic or characteristic that can be singled out. Instead, what I see are people who on a wholesale level have painstakingly gone so far as to add the bumper stickers, buy the t-shirts, watch the right TV shows, listen to the appropriate radio stations, hang out with the right people and publicly declare their agenda on social media and yet in every action they are screaming something completely different.
It is ridiculous how truly sad we are as humans. We indeed have the power to build up or tear down everything and everyone around us, in most cases simply with the words we speak. And armed with that power, we tend to tear down more often than build up. This goes for the words we choose not to speak as well. How many times have you caught yourself wishing you would have simply spoken up but you chickened out? Sometimes our silence does as much damage as our voice. This is certainly true in the arena of politics, where yours truly has opted out of being a part of, ever again. At least that one thing doesn’t seem to cause me the drama it used to.
I like the word humanitarian, because it makes me think of doing nothing more than bettering humanity one human at a time. Today I read a blog post regarding changing our perspective on how we treat those around us and if we were a little more diligent and intentional towards those closest to us, we might begin to understand how we could deposit into their lives, especially in a way that would leave them better than when we found them. That very concept is so simple and yet so deeply profound. Why on earth would anyone wantonly choose to leave someone worse off than how you found them? Is it our goal to wreck people? Is it our aim to rain on a person’s parade so much so that they lose hope?
And yet look at the very fabric of society here in America, where if you don’t vote a certain way or believe a certain way, you must be the enemy. You’re not even viewed as alternative or different anymore, you are simply viewed as the enemy. This is what our politicians have done to us; they have turned us against each other. Interestingly, I have not noticed a very large contingency arise from this and declare that we will not be ruled by fear. Instead, I see large swaths of the population casting judgment on those less fortunate, all for the sake of some sort of misguided principal that was dictated by a well spoken political leader. Meanwhile, millions of people are suffering daily because of the hatred of fellow humans. The word humanitarian is off the table at this point, replaced not with egalitarian but instead with something very insidious, and that is egoism.
People have personally elevated their own statuses to reveal that the most important person in the world is themselves. In these cases, there is no room for anyone else. Not a spouse, not kids, not immediate family members, not friends but mostly, not anyone who doesn’t explicitly agree with their political views and agendas. Let’s stop right there. You catch my drift, of that I am sure. To beleaguer the point is only going to irritate you as much as it already irritates me.
Think of one person near you. It could be a neighbor, a co-worker, an old friend, a brother. What is one thing that would bring a smile to their face, one thing that you could do to brighten their day, one thing you could do to literally leave them better off than when you found them? This is not a difficult task, in fact it is quite easy, but it is going to take some changes. For instance, turn off the talk radio, where egoism rules. Stop participating in water cooler chats that involve politics unless you think you can learn to do so in a civil manner.
In short, we all need to grow up. And while we’re doing that we need to grow together, not apart. And the only way to do that is to water, or nurture the person next to you. To do so will only make us stronger. To do so will teach us what it means to be considerate, or more appropriately, to sit up and take notice of the people around us.