Today I have reached my limit. My limit of negative comments in the media, in passing conversations, on my Facebook page. Negative comments about seemingly benign things that are somehow turned into political statements. I’ve watched as MY FRIENDS have called the President of the United States a bastard. I’ve observed my church-going neighbors make fun of someone else’s beliefs. I’ve heard the conspiracy theories about the President’s birth certificate, Hillary’s blot clot, the credit crisis, Boehner’s tan and the blame all around for our fiscal cliff, our involvement in Benghazi and Afghanistan.
And I am a hypocrite. I sit here, at my computer, griping about this negativity. Writing about it as a faceless blogger. Because it’s easier to gripe and type, than to engage in face to face discourse.
And I wonder about us human beings. I wonder why people go to church if they aren’t going to try to absorb the lessons of charity and compassion. Or why our first instincts have become to criticize and to think the worst of someone, instead of assuming the best. Why have we become, well, jerks?
I contend that by being jerks, we are preventing ourselves from being happy. We are ready to argue. Ready to be pessimists. Expecting ourselves to be unhappy with what’s happening around us. If that’s the case, how can we truly have a happy new year, or a happy life?
Is there anyone that we look up to anymore? Any real role models? We don’t have Joe DiMaggio or Mother Teresa or John Wayne or Bob Hope or Pope John Paul…but we do have people around us. The people who don’t say a bad word about their neighbor. The people who get out and vote for people they want representing them in public office and standing up for respect and compromise, not power and money. The citizens who refuse to watch the news station that only promotes rumor. The people who write editorials reminding us that there is good around us.The people who tell kids that bullying is bad — and don’t bully the checkout person or the cable guy. The church-going neighbors of ours who live faith, not talk about it.
I don’t really care if you don’t like our President. Disagree with his stances. Don’t ‘dis him as a person. Looks to me like he’s a good dad. That counts for a lot in my book. I don’t care if you think John Boehner cries too much. Show respect. I don’t care if you believe there is a conspiracy in government if you haven’t voted in the last election. Get involved. Vote.
I’m taking off my hypocrite hat in 2013. If I don’t have anything nice to say, I’ll not say it. If I slip, I will work on being humble. If I disagree with someone’s opinion, I won’t belittle them. And I will show respect for others. Period.
But if you’re a jerk, well, I hope you have a happy new year.