I try to stay far away from debates about politics, current affairs and religion. There are so many other writers ready to chime in on those subjects. Seems everyone today has an opinion and is willing to share it. My current lifestyle does not include live television or radio. I am a Netfix and Amazon kinda gal. I only heard about the Dallas shootings a day or so ago through Facebook. So you can see I’m not heavily connected.
But there is one thing I want to know….what’s going on in this world today? I’m sure my understanding is at a child’s level as I am generally out of the loop. Was there a time when things were better, probably not.
For example, my older sister had cerebral palsy. Before I was born, my family lived in a decent-sized town where my sister could go outside onto the sidewalk and spend time outside. She also went to school. But she was tormented by neighbor kids because she was disabled. Now this happened in the good old 1950s. The tormenting got so bad my parents packed up the family and moved to the country. There my sister no longer had the option to freely go outside, there were no sidewalks and the small country school was not equipped for disabled people. Those tormentors won some stupid unimportant battle against a disabled girl and her family. My mother often spoke of other parents of handicapped children who did not even let them leave the house for fear of torment.
The good old days were not always good old days. Bullies were everywhere. Human intolerance has been around since day one. Look at Cain and Abel. Jealousy, hate and envy tore that family apart.
You would think that Hitler would have taught us a lesson or two of what not to be like. Yet our world seems to be going down a similar path today. I do not believe that anyone’s life is unimportant. They all matter, to coin a currently overused phrase. But it is true. The rich politicians to the homeless family and everyone in between all have value. Yet we tend to see net worth or education levels as the criteria we use to judge value and respect. Which is skewed because some of the upper level of people are known liars and dirty dealers. That does not mean their lives do not count just that the gold pedestal they sit on is tarnished.
Everyone fights for their own right which negates another persons rights. Every man for himself leaves no room for tolerance or respect for others. We hate God but that hate is tearing our society apart and is devaluing the person. People scream for change as long as it is good for them.
As a former self-absorbed person I realize entitlement. My world revolved around me and me only. I was so worried about me that other people were secondary. That is a hard thing to admit but true it is. Then the bottom fell out of my life and I started to see differently. I realized that my needs were not always the most paramount. I began to see life through others people’s lives. There are so many struggling right now, suffering in silence and living without hope. This probably always happened just now the scale of people affected is so much more. So many people being disrespected.
I will admit it is difficult to love everyone. Some people seem unlovable. But maybe God meant that regardless a person should be shown respect. Granted there are people so inherently evil they have not earned respect. I do not have an answer for that one. I guess I am talking about the person who works at the dollar store, or the person who gets your sandwich at lunch or any other number of people who may not have a high societal standing. Love them, not necessary. Respect them for their hard work, definitely.
Maybe what the world needs is not love, but respect. I have learned that not everyone has to think like me. Not everyone has to share my views. But if we can respect one another we open the door to learn from each other. Then change can happen and maybe some of the hate will disappear. I realize it is a simplistic concept for a very complicated problem. Maybe it could be a start.
I am a Christian and I want my religion to make me a better person. Jesus was not racist and He respected all people. He had a beef with some but I don’t think it shut off His ability to still respect them. Oftentimes He sat with the lowly and discarded people because they had value and deserved respect. My goal is to be more like that. No more judging a person on outward appearances. But by getting to know the person and paying them their due respect. Will it change the world and stop the violence? No it will not. But it is a start and, honestly, I have no other ideas so I will do what I can to be kind and respectful to my fellow humans.
This is just me feeling frustrated because I do not know how to change the world. Too much violence and not enough respect. Something has to give.