The warm nights and warmer days seem to have everything on a fast track this summer. June is most often cold and rainy, but not this year. Fans are going night and day. Water temperatures are where they usually are in late July. The algae bloom has started in force. One wonders if fall is going to start in mid-August at this rate.
I would much rather tune in to nature’s news station than that of we humans lately. The lack of compassion and kindness evident in our political and business arenas is heart sickening.
No matter the weight of them, decisions are made either from a place of love or a place of fear.
Our nation and our world are so far down the path of being ruled by fear it would seem there’s no way to ever go back to using love as a guiding light. But I’m lucky. My privilege lets me tune out and not be impacted by politics in the slightest, other than having to see the unkind anti-liberal signs here and there at The Angle.
My little girl starts kindergarten this fall. I feel as though I can protect her from the realities of our manmade world for only so much longer. Of all places, however, here, The Angle, and our K-6 one-room school house will help keep her a child for longer than if she were in the regular system. Still, she’ll soon learn that for the most part, adults are ruled by money and fear. As am I at times.
The best I can do is to try harder to live more from a place of love and, as she ages and begins to question our world, to show her the fulfillment love brings. I can teach her that life-long learning grows compassion and that there is more to life than just working hard to grow one’s own cash hoards.
I can teach her that kindness is wisdom. Despite whatever darkness our culture and our country bring, we can still strive to see a person’s light, their connection to All That Is, their goodness. And we can be kind.
A good life lived isn’t like running a business where “more for me” is the end goal. A good life is one lived in kindness, where the ultimate knowing is that “more for others” will always result in more for everyone. But as humans tend to do, I forget this as well.
I regularly walk through a business’ door where a sticker reads “Annoy a liberal: Work hard & be happy.” While I’m sure the stereotype is amusing to some, it always jabs me just right, which I’m sure is the intention. The irony is I only walk through that door when I am working hard, usually carrying gargantuan boxes of toilet paper or printed T-shirts or other UPS packages that aren’t bought locally.
Each time I am forced to see that sticker, I say to myself “Annoy a conservative: Keep learning and grow compassion.” But that seems equally unkind. There are many conservatives who are as compassionate towards others as some liberals are. And there are many liberals who work as hard as some conservatives do. (Even now, the political labeling and stereotypes feel so false, so fearful.)
I suppose the wise thing to do is to let them and their beliefs be. They can have them, just as I can have mine. The more I look at it the less feelings I have about it, which is the way it works with fear. The saying on that sticker jabs me just right because at times, an irrational part of me is still fearful that I, in my liberal political beliefs and my progressive Christianity (if I can call it that), won’t be “accepted” here.
But that is simple fear.
There is a small-town legacy that lives on in the fearful hearts here that outsiders are not welcome. That fear-filled heart has often been my own. But I have learned to be patient with my heart just as I will learn to be with the hearts of those who are different than me.
I believe we “know not what we do” most of the time because we do it in fear. Of all people, I surely understand that. Fear is pervasive, insidious, often overwhelming.
Oscar Wilde said “It takes great courage to see the world in all its tainted glory and still love it.” The same is true of everyone in that world, including the people who live next door.
For me, Love is the goal, the next war to be fought. Kindness is the weapon. Wisdom the spoils of battle.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Onward, soldier. We have a lot to learn about love.