People- does it feel like the end is nigh?
Nigh means near right? With record high temps, a lion killing dentist, women (plural!) dying in police custody, right wing conspiracy theories and Donald Trump, we’re all going bat shit crazy.
Oh, let’s not forget, woman dying in Chinese escalator, man kills ducklings with lawnmower and children left to die in hot cars. Sorry, didn’t mean to be a Debbie Downer on you.
I literally want to scream. I want to bang my head on the table and give up. But I also want to stick my head in the sand and pretend that I don’t know anything.
We’re all angry. Every one of us is seething with something that bothers us. Because we all have stories and experiences, troubles and humiliations. What triggers me might not trigger you.
We need to stop. We need to breathe.
Remember when you were little, and you would watch a special on PBS about the plains of the Serengeti and the dry season. You never had been to Africa so this was interesting. You watched as they did time lapse of the plants and wildlife over the days and weeks. They would talk about the life of the animals, the hunting and dying, the cubs being born. There was even close ups of the insect life. So much detail that you didn’t know existed in this world. Your horizons had just been broadened in your 8 year old brain. You watched that show, thinking you’d be bored because it wasn’t Love Boat, but instead, you were enthralled and asked to stay up past your bed time to finish it.
There was no Internet then. No Google to check out ‘plains of Serengeti’. I still remember that show because it was so revealing, so different to what I had known.
Every now and then when I go about my day of Starbucks, Target runs, cat box scooping, doctor appointments with Emma; I think of the minute details of the world that I don’t even know about. That I know are out there, but I don’t even have the remote idea of what they’re really like. What sunsets look like below the equator, what winter is at the poles, what suffering a mom feels during famine when she can’t feed her child, let alone vaccinate them.
We are quick to judge on the Internet. We rush to conclusions with what little information we have or has been given to us. Most likely given to us already sliced and diced to be interpreted in a way we don’t know that differs from its original state.
Our anger boils and we think all cops are corrupt. Every Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts. All Mexicans are just rapists and drug dealers.
So instead of jumping to conclusions, I’m going to jump to patience and kindness. I will read things on the Internet and count to ten before I click the share button.
Someone is beaten in police custody? Well of course that person needs to be since they’re in police custody to begin with, they’re probably a low life that found themselves in handcuffs and who cares if they get roughed up a bit? It’s amazing what people conclude from video footage they see on the news.
I posted on my Facebook the other day that the hardest time to be kind to someone, is when they are unkind to you, but that is actually when your kindness means the most.
Kindness isn’t something that’s conditional. It should be unconditional. Like forgiveness and mercy. That may be a little bit New Testament for folks, sorry, but it’s how I was raised.
And I would rather be raised with assuming kindness in this world, than the opposite. And if we can all be kind, even when the person in the grocery store parking lot bumps their cart against your car; then maybe the universe will settle down a bit.
We can think of the Serengeti with all its wildlife, bugs, birds and plants. The details of the world we don’t even know or comprehend may be beyond our scope of knowledge- but that in our small circle of existence, we can set the ripples of compassion out into the universe.
We need to soften our hearts. Because despite all the shit and crap going around us, hardening to it, is not the answer. Hold on to your kindness, your happiness, share it with others.
Start with yourself. Start in your home. Start in the Starbucks parking lot!
Okay, there. Do you feel better? I’m trying. Now go watch kitten videos or help an old lady cross the street.