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The Pendulum

by Cynthia Mael about a year ago in humanity
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A look at our hearts

Clean your Finger before Pointing at my Spots

I don’t hate people. Sometimes though, I really hate their actions. Hate is that nagging fire that rises within you when someone throws salt in your hair, or spits on your shoe. It is the ache for justice in the depth of your heart. This morning, for example, two cars sat, blocking the lane, and the school busses trying to keep their schedules. They took cuts like greedy first graders, instead of circling to the back of the line, like “mature adults.” Far be it from me to judge their mind set. Maybe they didn’t read the email explaining the intricacies of picking up and dropping off their children. Maybe they weren’t thinking clearly from a bad night’s sleep. Deep inside me though, it churns the wheels of disgust and irritation. I have politely pulled next to the cars sitting in the middle of the road, letting them know about the turn arounds ahead, only to have them stay their selfish course. Why are they convinced that they should block the whole road? Is it pure narcissism, a lack of knowledge or simple selfishness and pride?

Deep down I want to believe that others care. Time and time again however, I see people yelling at the customer service clerk having nothing to do with the forecasting and planning for the item that should be on the shelf. I hear people caustically blame the pharmacist for not having the medicine they need on the day that they want it. I watch while others take up the whole sidewalk, not budging to share it with other foottravelers.

“I’m right,” is the current climate in our country rather than the grace and compassion necessary for polite society. America will cease to be America when we all wear the same shoes and no longer have freedom of speech. It’s not even the freedom of speech that I’m worried about as much as how the freedom of speech is used. Having the right to swear in public doesn’t make it acceptable on the grounds that you have a “right to do it.” Being aggressive without knowing the belief systems of those around you is tactless and rude. Manners demonstrate to others that we believe in their intrinsic worth as a human being. Humility dictates that we stand firm on our beliefs, but share them in a way that dignifies others in our delivery, even when we disagree. I mean, who has the right to run someone over, if they accidentally bump into your car? It’s never ok to kill someone because their definition of a word comes from a completely different context or worldview than yours. Laws are rules that protect people.

What I find most distressing, is lack of tolerance from others toward any belief but their own. When I define tolerance, by no means do I believe in accepting everything that others believe. I would label that as indifference or apathy. I may not agree with other’s theologies, but I can still choose to love them for their other unique gifts and talents. As a personal example, I don’t offer pork to my Muslim friends. We can talk about the differences in our faith without insults or accusations. I don’t force my style of eating on them because I respect their right to choose their belief system. We ask each other things called, “questions,” and gain insight called, “information.” There are those however, who would label others as “hateful” for not agreeing with their own lifestyles or attitudes. They would hurl insults toward those who eat meat, or who don’t, or who follow opposing political views. When did we become so hateful? Why does the pendulum have to swing so far to the left or right? Aren’t we made with the same desires, longings, dreams, and ethics? Not everyone can be a shoemaker. Neither will everyone aspire to be a gold medal athlete. Is the hand more important than the foot or the ear deemed better than the eye? We all need each other to survive in the body of society. We need the delivery driver, and the person who drives their company to succeed.

I guess I ache for those years where faith and hope were character traits unsaddled to extremists in the media’s undiscerning spotlight. I long for a world where people’s egos and mindsets aren’t so fragile that the slightest disagreement propels them to hate. Really, I wish people were less concerned with self-care and more passionate about loving others, which always covers a multitude of sins. Especially when taking cuts in the drop off line.


About the author

Cynthia Mael

Mom of two amazing kids. Gardener, knitter, writer, canner, and lover of God and people.

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