How to Retain Your Humanity in Tough Times
I may ramble a bit, I don’t know.
But I do want to make one thing absolutely clear; none of the people I ‘unfriended’ (three ‘celebrities’ and four indie authors) or who I ‘blocked from feed’ are actual FRIENDS of mine. I do not know a single one of them in the Real World. I did not grow up with them, go to school with them, go to church with them (yes, I used to do that on Sundays….don’t laugh….I did!), worked with them, had them over for dinner….nada. Zippo. Zero. Nuttin’.
Personally I think that may hint at the idea that over 47 years I did a damn good job picking my friends!🙂
That’s not to say they ALL think like I do. Of course they don’t! We’re not robots. BUT not a single one of them was vile or vulgar in their exercising of their First Amendment Rights. Not a single one. They all kept their arguments on the ‘high ground’ and presented interesting questions and scenarios to back up their opinions, their well-thought-out and intelligently relayed opinions. They didn’t swear, debase, or belittle in any manner. I think that’s because they realize the reality of a completely avoidable situation and that is the fact that a young man is DEAD over NOTHING.
I admit, I didn’t answer most of them although I read their posts. I didn’t answer them because I genuinely like these people, I want to continue liking them and being in their lives for a very long time to come.
In other words; it wasn’t worth risking the loss of a real friend. Today will fade, the trial will wash away into history but us, me and my friends, we’ll still be here after that happens. And we’ll be OLD and in need of good friends!🙂
The majority of them seem to favor some type of Civil Rights or Civil Trial…that’s how they finally got freakin’ OJ. I think, on the Civil Rights thing, it’s because most of us are just old enough to remember White Men being put on trial for Depriving Black Men of their Civil Rights…when White had actually KILLED Black but for some reason never went on trial for MURDER. Weird. Definitely not ‘justice’.
If you’re younger than me and you don’t remember that….lucky you. Then again maybe you’re one of the ones who was swearing and ranting and raving BECAUSE you don’t remember that.
Food for Thought. I guess anyway. For you and for me, provided you’re younger than I am.
Anyway, a strange thing happened today and it happened 3 times. The first time it happened I didn’t think much of it. The second time I thought it a little odd. The third time I knew there had been some type of shift somewhere and it was for the better. Light always finds a way to come from Darkness. Always. You just have to look for its glimmer and then follow it.
Twice at the office two gentlemen who wouldn’t ordinarily acknowledge each others’ presence in the room did just that. In two sets. That makes four people. Two white men. Two black men. None of them looked at each other with suspicion or shame. They gave each a hesitate ‘hello’ and then, for no reason at all, started talking. Not about anything particular or important just ‘how are ya’, ‘how’s the family’, ‘you looking for work?’, ‘been to a meeting lately’. BUT, as I said, these particular four people wouldn’t ordinarily piss on each other if they were on fire. I don’t think THAT’S a White/Black thing, I think they just didn’t particularly like each other. That’s allowed. Both times, in their respective sets, the gentlemen chatted with each other and one even waited for the other to finish their business and walk out together even though they hadn’t come in with each other.
I finished my day. I came home. Nikki and Nate are moving out! Woot-woot! Love ’em but…YEAH! LOL They finished their stuff and I went out to water my plants. It’s been so damn hot they’re very thirsty out there. I watered the back and then moved around front. As I watered the Petunias in their pot a black lady came walking down on the street looking to be on her way home from work at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital at the top of the street. No big deal. Just an everyday thing. I’d never seen her before. As she came up to my crappy sidewalk…and was smart enough to not brave enough but walk in the street instead! LOL…she stopped, she smiled a beautiful smile at me and said; “Oh, that’s a beautiful dress.”
If you’re a guy then you’re unaware that a woman receiving a totally unsolicited compliment from another woman is freakin’ gold. It’s better than you telling your wife how sexy she looks…you’re supposed to say that, so please say it often.
I thanked her, told her where I got it. She stopped, we chatted a minute or two…nothing serious, nothing big, mostly about how much we’re looking forward to the end of August and to Fall with its blessed cooler weather. Then she went on her way home.
As I watched her go on her way I couldn’t help but think that, under other circumstances, that nice lady probably would have looked at me a bit of suspicion and I at her the same way. It’s engrained. No matter how any of us ‘of a certain age’ tries to root it out…it’s there…that split second of Black meeting White when fear and suspicion flame up in our eyes and then we beat it back because we Are Not Our Parents. We smile. We nod at each other as we hurry by maybe we even actually say ‘hello’ but usually not.
Today was different. Today, even though there should be an air of distrust, there was an air of peace. An air of understanding that, again, We Are Not Our Parents. We are not stereotypes. Just because 6 women said a man was not-guilty doesn’t make him ‘innocent’. (Look it up…Google it…I ain’t lying. There’s a big difference between the two.)
“Gandalf” once said;
I think the Old Wizard is right. It won’t be big things like ‘widely covered racially charged trials’ or even great warriors, peacekeepers, lawmakers, and governments that do the trick for us. No, in the end, it will be those simple everyday acts of kindness and love will be what saves us from ourselves and keeps our humanity alive.