Friday, July 08, 2016
Today I am grateful for a guest columnist. I am dog-dead-tired today and went against all previously stated intentions and almost all suitcases are downstairs and the laundry is almost done. Still have the boxes, but very few brain cells. That’s what happens when you watch the news for the first time in a few weeks. Horrible things have happened. I was happier not knowing. That is why I am glad to share an opinion piece my niece, Molly Adrianson Solie, wrote and posted on Facebook. She has given me permission to use it for today.
I’ve always…I mean ALWAYS, rolled my eyes when my folks would talk about the “disintegration of christian values”. All it meant to me was being against gay marriage and pre-marital sex with a bit of anti-abortion thrown in…but the sorry thing is they were right. We have just about given up on Christian values. I don’t mean Christian in the way too many use it…the judgemental, furrow-browed finger wagging, the spitting rage, fear of change and hatred of the world…I mean the values of compassion, grace, charity, love, understanding, peace and joy, humility and faith in what’s good and right. We’re not upholding those values.
You’re angry, I’m angry, they’re angry; we’re angry because we’re struggling, we’re angry because we have to do with less than our parents did, we’re angry because bad guys get away with it and good guys get killed trying to do right or just living their lives. Some are angry about being forced to change, some are angry because they feel threatened and scared…Anger has taken over and “love” has become such a meaningless platitude. “Oh, we have to love more, hate less”…well OKAY…tell me how that works?
It starts by identifying those sins we, as a society, mistake as virtue. Greed is bad. People are greedy about power. They need it. They need to keep power over others or else they’ll be treated they way they treat others. People are greedy about money, about fame, about their station in life. Without power there’s no pride.
Pride is bad. People need to be confident in their opinions and prove they’re right, that THEY have the answers and if only people would just LISTEN, then they could solve the world’s problems. When people don’t listen and go out and do fool things, it makes us feel disrespected and humbled, and that makes us angry!
Anger and wrath is bad, even so called “righteous” wrath. Muslims aren’t the enemy. Straight white men aren’t the enemy. Black people aren’t the enemy. Police aren’t the enemy. The enemy is Pride. The enemy is Greed. The enemy is Anger. The enemy is Fear.
Fear drives it all, doesn’t it? We use fear as protection.
“Watch out for that guy over there, he poses a threat maybe!”
“Keep this gun close in case he or she comes any closer! Oh god, o God, they’re reaching out, maybe they’re going to kill us! *BANG*”
“I saw someone who looks like that on the news kill 50 people, maybe I’ll be next!”
“I saw someone like that punch a cop!”
“I saw someone in that uniform shoot an innocent man.”
Someone like that, someone like that, someone like that…where does it end? Land of the free, home of brave, right?
That said, we’ve always done horrible things to each other. Humans just don’t get along and we are no worse now than we ever were. I don’t believe we’re falling apart. I believe the number of people reaching for understanding and compassion is among the biggest in history. Remember what Mr. Roger’s said, look for the helpers. Take comfort in all the strength and love that’s out there and don’t cave to hopelessness. You’d be nothing but wrong. For every person who’s caved to his/her hatred and fear, there’s a hundred others who are holding strong, seeking to make a positive difference in the world and showing love to their fellow man. In the meantime, lets try to be brave. It takes guts to be gentle and kind.
Thank you, Molly.