Lately, I have been evaluating a lot of things. My personal life, spiritual life, my business life…they are all under the microscope. Am I in a bad place? No, but I can always do things better.
This morning I went to read about the shooting in Kentucky. Ironically, I had to work hard to find it. I thought, perhaps most would cover it. Really? I was mistaken. The largest aggregator of news did not have it. I had to search. Now searching is easy. Type in a word or two. Boom! Done. But, remember I come from a generation of card files. Why ought a story like this be hidden? These are people. Children.
America…how did we lose sight of this? I am not pointing the finger at any news source or reporter. I get the news shuffle, but why?
“Lee! This is NOT positive news.”
For certain, the shooting is not positive news on ANY level. I hate it. It saddens me.
So, why write this? For perspective and maybe to feel like I have a voice. Perhaps to see if something good can result.
Where does our connect? Certainly not with social media though we were lead to believe it might. Certainly, not in most of the news we see.
I was eight when my first friend was killed. Others had died. He was killed. As I read the account of his death in the paper, my heart was changed. My innocence scuffed. I had read daily the accounts of those killed in the war and was familiar with the words. But here it was. My friend. Dead.
I cried over the death of JFK and I sat there and looked at John boy with his salute. But this was personal.
Each day men and women choose a side and fight to the death over it. They slander. They hurt. They seem heartless in their statements and their positions. And often those are our leaders. Folks we have voted in. Because we chose them, we struggle to back down. To relent.
Many have said, we have lost our heart. They point to immigration and wars, headlines and bylines.
I decry the notion that we have lost our compassion. I read the “news” each day. Sometimes I feel hopeless. But… It draws me to pray. It causes me to change. To love more. To help more. To live life. Even when it is messy and painful.
I do think in our goal to make things less competitive, less painful, we have created monsters of isolation and insecurity. Meanwhile, we are inundated with negativity.
(I am reminded of the words of Frank Zappa…”I’m the slime oozin’ out / From your TV set”. From “I’m The Slime“)
But does it have to be? Do we need not speak? Talk? Communicate?
It is the time we got back to some basic decency. Where we value people regardless of their position or opinion.
It is time for our leaders(All leaders) to put aside rhetoric and mud slinging and be decent. Do you see these people as people?
I understand that it is hard sometimes. Yesterday, I was going through some things like that myself. Things that had caused me pain. People who did not see things as I did. What it was, matters little. The fact was I wanted to be angry. I was feeling misunderstood, mistreated, dishonored and disrespected. (Have you ever been there?) I wanted to “get even”. But then I recognized my anger would be over soon. But the results of my anger would not be. My children and grandchildren would see it. Right then, I decided that I would be quiet and walk away.
Is it easy? No. Is it painful? Yes. But to not act decently was no longer and option. Years ago I had to determine will I be better or will I become bitter. I hope I choose better on a regular basis.
Kentucky. My heart goes out to you. To the parents, the children, the community. To our nation.
This is my promise to me and hopefully to you. Each day I will endeavor to change the community I live in. To grow to embrace the people around me, regardless of our differences.
That is the positive outlook I can offer in this moment. That I will change what I can and hope others follow until we change a lot.
May y heart be connected.
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