I think maybe we need to have a chat. What has happened to you? I know we all have our ups and downs, good days and bad. But lately, it’s like you’ve lost your mind and don’t want help finding it.
I’m really worried about you.
When I was a kid, you made me feel safe. We had a simple agreement: I take care of you by respecting my parents and Mother Nature and you’d keep providing me with air, water and food. I understood we had a partnership: when you provided, I was to take only what I needed, (not wanted) and share the rest with the other humans in your space. In return I was to be a good neighbor and watch out for you. When I grew up, I was to set an example for the next generation on how this stewardship/partnership worked.
Well, I’m trying. But the DNA for listening skills seem to be slipping.
I so admire the best of you: a vast array of fascinating animals, sunny days, rainstorms followed by rainbows, natural spaces that can take my breath away, star speckled night skies and trees. Especially the trees. I’ve been enamored of them since childhood…even if you did have a meltdown one afternoon and strike the pine tree I was sitting in front of with a bolt of lightning. I know. I was in the car and perfectly safe. But I can still hear the power of that hit, still smell the hot pitch combined with rain. I got the point. I’m only slightly bigger than an ant and you could squash me at any time. Yet the fear of that moment was replaced by the sheer awe of what you had to offer.
Now I’m scared that you’re sick and on the endangered species list yourself.
You’ve become so unhappy. Half the time you try to drown yourself, while the rest of you suffers from drought. The line between the Haves and the Have Not’s isn’t a line anymore…it’s a gap like the Grand Canyon. Is war your equivalent of teenage acne? Or are you in the throes of menopause from hell: hot flashes that boil over in human rage while the rest watches in cold indifference?
You use to be so even keel. Able to balance glaciers with the equator. Now it feels like the balance is gone. Lost.
I wonder if it’s the company you keep. Your BFF, the media, is doing its level best to bring you down. No longer do they highlight your accomplishments, they’ve buried them in the old, “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality. Honestly most of us hate that. And after telling us what to think, your buddy Media then tries to set us at each other’s throats, telling a part of the story to bring anger, not education. Nobody’s perfect. And those who do wrong should be punished. But the trial comes, not with a jury in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion fueled with cell phone video evidence of one moment in time. That can be helpful, but it’s not always the whole story. And yet the rush to judgment begins and those kind humans who held each other together after 9/11 forget that tearing one another apart accomplishes nothing. It’s reminiscent of an old cartoon that stated, “I have seen the enemy and they is us.” (Don’t even get me started on cartoons. They use to be funny. Now they’re part of premeditated murder.)
World, I fear that you’re giving up on us, turning your back and leaving us to fight it out. I can’t blame you. After all, everything I learned growing up is being treated like a plague: respect, religion, the Golden Rule, helping strangers rather than automatically fearing them. Listening. I miss the art of Listening. It makes me sad that for a place that has so much, too many people are yelling all the time and no one sees the beauty of anything.
World, I’ll make you a deal. I will count to 10 (as many times as it takes) and remember that the guy who just cut me off in traffic might have lost a loved one. That the mother with the screaming kid at the grocery store may be trying to figure out exactly how much she has left for the month and probably would like to lie on the floor and cry a little herself. I will try to be more compassionate, less judgmental and not let someone bait me into a conversation just because the media says we have to take sides. I choose to listen…to both sides carefully, and not jump to conclusions.
World, you have a lot to offer. I’d like to share that with you. Let me first thank you for the coming sunset. That’s some of your best work. A multitude of colors to signal day’s end, with the promise that sunrise signaling a new day, a new start, will be just as spectacular. I’ll do my best to make you proud. Maybe if you’re proud of us, you can become a peaceful World. And that’s something we could all agree on. Peace.