Thursday, October 1, 2015

What's Happened to Us?

Maybe it happens every election cycle.

I'm not sure because the truth is, I really don't pay much attention.

Despite my choice to not view the debates or to engage in the commentary regarding our presidential candidates, I find myself slamming into it in the worst school pick-up, reading posts of my friends on Facebook or Instagram, at family gatherings and now with my son who shared a song that he and his buddies made up on the playground about Trump.  Which, I have to give them credit, for fifth graders, it's quite good.

The song lyrics much like the off-handed comments from others are steeped in sarcasm at best and vitriol at worst.  And given the doozies that he has been sharing with the world, well, I'm hard pressed to defend him.

On the heels of this on-going circus act is the testimony of Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood regarding its' use of federal funds.  The alleged abuse of funds and ethics of the organization has launched a tirade of public scrutiny at best and sheer hatred ugliness at worst.

Not long ago, we were entrenched in the Ashley Madison scandal and decided who was really bad based on what the database shared, before that it was whether or not Gay marriage should be legal and before that it was racial profiling and retribution by police within communities and before that it was whether states should have the right to legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes and before that, it was whether parents could leave their kids in the car when they went into a store to run a quick errand and before that, it was whether you had the right to take your own life through assisted euthanasia and before that it was whether women should be able to assume positions of leadership in the church and before that, it was...

It always seems to be something and the only thing that we all seem to be getting really good at is judgement and condemnation.  We know how to draw lines and how to decide who is standing on the right side.  We've decided who's going to Heaven and who's going to Hell.  Who should be ashamed of themselves and who is living a morally upright life.  Who is worthy and who doesn't deserve our time and dollars.  Who has a right and who doesn't.

And somewhere in the mix, we've forgotten that the only moral mandate is to recognize that we belong to each other...plain and simple.  What does your neighbor need?  An egg, a cup of sugar, an ear to share the pain of what's going on in her life, a babysitter for her child as she's had to take an extra job on to make ends meet, a hug reassuring her that it will all work out, her lawn mowed, her walks shoveled, a wave as you're pulling into the driveway, an invitation to come share a meal, a few flowers from your garden.

What does the world need?  We need each other to take as much time practicing compassion as we do self righteousness.  We need to admit that individually, we don't have all of the answers...but that collectively, we may figure it out one day.  We need to vehemently believe with all of our hearts that every person matters.  We need to find common ground and build instead of making it our life's work to tear each other bit by bit apart.

We need to leave a legacy.  Our children deserve more.  Our planet deserves better.  There's too much good on this ball we all inhabit to waste our days running in circles for the good of our egos. 

It starts with each of us...doing what we can, where we are, consistently tending and growing our plot.  I can't even imagine what the dialogue or songs we sing might look like if we did.

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