Thursday, September 15, 2011


You know it is so easy to become cynical these days. Turn on the TV, check your newsfeed on Facebook, read a message board. Everywhere you look people seemed to have become mean, hateful, lacking the simple human qualities of compassion and kindness. It honestly doesn't matter what your political, or religious beliefs are you can find examples of people who just seem to have forgotten how to behave towards other people. If you are in a difficult situation yourself, it starts to feel rather personal. It starts to feel as if you just have no right to exist if you are down on your luck.

I think it is to easy to say ugly things about other human beings when you are anonymous. I think that if we turn off the TV, get off the computer and encounter one another face to face, most behave differently. Yes, a few will still be hateful uncaring monsters-quick to demean or ridicule anyone they see as different. These are just all around miserable people and it must be hard to be that unhappy. But most people are not that miserable. Most people will speak kindly even to a stranger.

While vacationing last week we met so many nice people. People who were truly happy to have us in their home town, or visiting their area. As I worked my way through doorways, or up a step or two with my cane or my walker, there was always someone rushing to hold a door, or offer a helping hand. I tend to want to let others go through the doorway before me, offering the caveat that I am slow, and no one ever takes me up on it.

It seems to me we need to get out and meet each other. It seems all to easy, no matter where your belief lies on the spectrum to demonize those who are different than you.Personally, i have never understood bigotry and hate, and it seems to be growing stronger. It seems like it is all too easy to think that the problems are all the fault of the 'others'. But when the 'other' is someone we are face to face with we are able to see that we are all fighting some battle, and we aren't all that different. Those folks, young, old, male, female who held a door for me, or waited to get to their seat while the lady with the walker made her way slowly ahead of them had no way of knowing whether I am a liberal or conservative, a Christian or a Muslim or a pagan, or any thing in between. All they saw was a middle aged woman with mobility issues, and they were happy to offer assistance or a bit of encouragement.

It is so easy to fall into cynical thinking, I have thought many times recently that there are those who would gladly let me die by the side of the road because I am no longer a productive member of society. And there may be a couple of those out there, but for the most part this country is full of good people, people who will offer a helping hand no matter who you are or what you look like.For the most part this country is full of friends we have yet to meet. And even those who say the most hateful hurtful things under a cloak of  anonymity, will usually think that their friends or family are not who they are railing against.

So we need to get out of the house, out of our neighborhood or comfort zone and meet each other. Maybe then we will remember that we are all human, and all deserving of a bit of help now and then.We have to remember to be kind, even to those miserable ones, because truly we never know what battles the other person is fighting,and our smile or kind word may remind even them that they are human.If it doesn't, we must truly feel sorry for them, because it certainly can't be easy to be that unhappy.But, we must not let the hate we see and feel rub off on us, we must fight the cynical tooth and nail, but we must fight it with kindness and caring, and that is what I found out there in our country. Nice people, they really do exist!

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