Respect, kindness, courtesy, please !! We must make a difference. Now is the time. This is the day to resurrect an integrity, kindness, respect, and decency, and even love, somehow, someway. We hear adults calling each other dogs, animals, low lifes, idiots, stupid and worse. . . Social media is often used as a rudeness, insulting machine. There seems to be demeaning, dehumanizing words flying everywhere.
Technology cannot stop the continuing violence, warfare, racism, environmental destruction. But perhaps we can make a difference by growing “the inner heart of our humanity”. We humans tend to heal when we are witnessed, appreciated, and loved.
Our children desperately need us to speak, and never hold our peace !! They are counting on us to come forward as dignified and maybe even spiritual adults, even if we do not feel like we are. It may have been a very long time since we lived with grace, courtesy, empathy and even kindness. We may be rusty. But we can do this and be this ! We need each other.
As Nelson Mandela says, “It never hurts to see the good in someone. They often act the better because of it.” Thomas Merton wrote about seeing the secret beauty of each person. In India, it is called the “glance of mercy”, when mentor or teacher glances at a person with immense love, and that person is seen as worthy. James Baldwin writes, “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hate and ignorance so stubbornly is because they sense that once hate is gone, they’d be forced to deal with their own pain.” And when we cannot bear our pain, we often project it onto others
What can we do ? We can have courage to act with courtesy where there had been none, We can offer an appreciative, kind, word to the waitress or the clerk, to take time to thank those in our path, to pay compliments, to express appreciation and love to those in our lives. We can take time to create space to really listen to each other. We can reflect on why we need so often to criticize others. We can demonstrate dignity and respect in language and behavior so that our children might learn this.
We need each other folks. The price is so high today. Many of us are scared, lonely, and confused by the rhetoric, tension, and rage. A kind word, a thank you, a compliment may begin to soften this brittle, awful, lonely, angry space we find ourselves in. If nothing else, we may experience peace in our personal spaces even for just a short time. A breath of fresh air for our souls and our humanity !
Maya Angelou reminds us about our need for courage: The price is high. The reward is great.