By Art Gallagher
I’ve intentionally stayed out the the raging debate over the terrible events in Virginia last weekend and the adequacy, or lack thereof, of President Trump’s response to them.
I consider most of the ranting, from both the left and the right, to be bullshit political posturing, or ass covering, that will make no positive difference at all in improving our quality of life. It won’t make a positive difference how we relate to people who don’t look like us, dress like us or talk like us. On the contrary, the raging narrative in the media seems to be increasing our divisions.
The best result, so far, of the current media narrative is that we are apparently no longer on the verge of nuclear war with the crazy fat kid in North Korea and the Russians are apparently no longer attempting to hijack our republic.
I’m inviting my little corner of the Internet to use the upset caused by recent events to create some love and harmony. I think its contagious.
Forgive someone. Many of us are holding grudges against friends or loved ones. Maybe they’re currently in former friends status and you’ve “blocked” your love. “Unblock” them with forgiveness, even if they don’t want it, deserve it or need it. Do it now and start communicating. Doing it now might make your holidays (131 shopping days till Christmas) more pleasant. Forgive someone for not forgiving you. Keep forgiving them when they keep you “blocked.”
Do something for someone you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to doing. The timing and the circumstances may never be right or perfect. This post is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Strike up a conversation with someone who doesn’t look like you. Press through the discomfort and notice that voice screaming in your head. Start talking anyway. Then stop talking and listen. Don’t worry about the person thinking you’re weird. You are weird to that person. Communicate anyway.
Help someone who needs it, especially if they don’t look like you. Sherrice Lyles and her four children still need help. The gofundme campaign I helped her set up has raised $4720.00 so far, but it’s not enough to house the family of five until they get back into their home and replace all of the belongings they lost in the fire last Thursday. Sherrice and four children ages 2-11, have been staying in one hotel room.
Many people have been very generous outside of the gofundme campaign with offers of furniture, clothes and supplies. But that stuff has to be stored until their home is ready. Not all of it can be used. Foodtown and the Scaduto and Azzolina families have offered free groceries. That’s huge, but it doesn’t help them in the hotel. Please give some money. Now.
Acknowledge and celebrate peaceful diversity where you find it. Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon mentioned to me yesterday how the conduct at the LD 30 Republican special election in Wall on Monday evening was different from the media narrative.
“District 30 is a very diverse district that stretches from the beaches of Spring Lake to the western part of the County in Howell south to Lakewood,” Hanlon said. “It encompasses two counties with — towns that have divergent cultures, economies and priorities. All came together in a dignified, cordial, tolerant and peaceful gathering to choose the assembly candidate. There was no hate, there was no bigotry, there was no animosity.”
Get over it and get over yourself. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. In the long run we’re all dead. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You really are not that big a deal. Your mother used to wipe your ass. Someday an orderly will do it.
Say something good about someone. Maybe it’s just me, but very often in conversation when another person’s name comes up, a disparaging remark gets made about that person. “Did you know so and so did such and such?” “I wonder what so and so is really up to?” “Did you hear that so and so is having a whoop-di-doo with whatshername?” I do it too. Let’s not and say something nice.
Put down your phone and make eye contact with someone. Do it now.