We used to laugh at them. Watch funny documentaries about people who thought all sorts of “out there” things. We made jokes about tin foil hats and wondered how people could believe such things. We used to…
Now, we are those people. As a society we’ve become them. We listen to all of these theories and speculations and we take them as truth. We follow along blindly, tin foil hats under our caps and hidden, but there. We don’t want big brother or those damn, fill in the blanks, to know we know, but we know.
No matter what side of an argument you are on, you are one of them now. Or it’s tempting to be. And like those foil hat wearers of the past, our forebears, we only believe our own sources. We don’t give any credibility to anything that goes against what we believe and “know” to be true. We are spoon fed and cajoled and frightened into believing the worst. The worst of the character of our neighbor, of our friends, of anyone who does not agree with us. They suddenly become other. You can’t trust those damn… those silly… those evil… those foolish… those people. And what’s more, some of those people are people we’ve known a long long time. Some of those people are people we care for. Some of “those people” are our people people. It’s a crazy thing.
I don’t know how we got so paranoid. So insular. I don’t know when it happened that so many conversations turned from the weather, the flowers, what was going on with our family, our work, our daily lives to can you believe what “those people” did? Can you believe what they said? Can you believe they actually think, act, feel, fill in the blank, that way? It’s so judgemental.
I like to think I’m immune. But I’m not. I’m in it too. I do it too. I don’t like that I do, but I do. I want to be better. I want to be free of it. I want to be IN my own life. Doing what I can do to better the lives of the people I love and who love me. Maybe even better the lives of the people I run into that I don’t know. You know?
This is culture examination and self examination all at once. I can’t fix what is happening in society. I can only change my own behavior. My own thoughts, ideas, and actions. I can only do what I can do, where I am at. So, I will try to. I’m going to try to. Be where I am. Love a lot. Be as kind as possible to those I know and don’t know. Be forgiving. Be gracious. Be gentle with the souls I come into contact with. People deserve that. Before all else, they deserve kindness. So do I. I deserve it too. I am going to refocus there. On that place of kindness. I am going to be open.
I am going to try… It’s time to start loving thy neighbor, loving my neighbors, again.