Monday, June 22, 2015

Little Things

Growing up in Texas, I never gave much thought to the confederate flag or what it meant to different people.  But if we hold to the truism as Catholics, doing little things with great love, then the South can do this little thing, and swallow its pride and take down the flag that for many symbolizes the sanctioned hatred of people based on the color of their skin.

Our country keeps trying by policy and politics, to pretend if we put all the right safeguards in place, be it on the right or the left, there will be no more pain, no more needless suffering, no more injustice. But even worse, the public discourse, be it on facebook or in real life, on the news or the radio or anywhere, reveals an undercurrent of fundamental distrust.  We've allowed ourselves to become strangers to each other, and to distrust any with whom we disagree.

I hear it in my children's discussions of how the government works (or doesn't), how we fund education (or don't), the system of taxation, the system of justice, pick something, I've heard my children and their friends express contempt for what is, on the grounds it fails to live up to its promise.  One daughter presumes socialism would be "more just," because she sees the injustice of unfettered capitalism.   It would correct the abuses of unchecked free markets, but she fails to see the abuses that would rise in its stead.   But her reaching out for something other made me wonder about where we are going as a nation.

If we no longer have faith in our institutions, our leaders, our organizations, our corporations, or ourselves, we are a nation in danger of losing ourselves.  I read the papers, I follow politics, and both sides say the same thing for the same reasons, but about the other side.   It is no wonder the public is frustrated.  We never seem to find an accord, never seem to reach compromise without bruises, and never seem to believe those who oppose us (regardless of the topic you pick) have any legitimate business disagreeing.  As long as we hold there are no principles in common, there cannot be peace, true peace within the nation.

So we must begin with little things.   Little things that reveal we have more in common than not, and our hearts long for a fuller union than we have.  What sort of little things?   Little things like taking down the flag that hurts some, because it hurts some.  (That is sufficient a reason).   

Little things like caretaking for the Earth in little ways --recycling not because we will save the world by our actions, but by all of our actions, we can beautify the world around us.  Practicing kindness to one and all, even when we don't feel like it, will make the society as a whole, kinder.   We don't have to know the motives, (be they civic or religious), we simply need to decide. 

 We want a society that is more just, so we will be more just in our dealings with everyone we meet. 

 We want a society that is more fair, so we will be unfair in others favor, in an attempt to bring everyone to hold treating the other with innate dignity, a value.   

We want a world that is more merciful, so we need to exercise the benefit of the doubt about the person on the other side of any discussion, whether in a combox or anywhere else.   

We have to be like the sun with our mercy, pouring it out on all.   If we weigh who receives mercy, we are not merciful, for mercy is what one gives to someone who deserves justice, and who is more likely to receive our wrath.  

It won't make our country a utopia.  But it will make it better.  We can never remove the part of our hearts that has the capacity for evil. It's in everyone, and it is proof to me of our divine nature and calling; that acts of hatred and evil, of violence and depravity puzzle us even if we can trace the origins.

We are not meant as people, or as individuals, to destroy, or hate, to uglify or control.  We're meant to serve, to love, to heal, and to help set free.   So today, do something little and together, we can begin to bind the wounds and salve the hearts of a nation that should be so much kinder, stronger, and more just than it is.     Do a little thing.  

1 comment:

Helene said...

So very beautiful and hopeful. Thanks for posting these thoughts.

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