Peace on Earth…
I was going to write a cozy fireside piece about mistletoe and visions of sugar plums. Sorry but the facts of the day don’t lend themselves to that. I read of kids being mowed down by some maniacs in Pakistan. 138 of them. Their blazered uniforms reminded me of the ones my grandsons had on when we visited them in London a few months ago.
What about Australia? Just plain working folks were having coffee in downtown Sidney. Kind of like me having a Venti Starbucks this morning in Denver. Down Under has a tranquil and innocent feel. Just people enjoying life for what it is. No longer.
Then the tragedy in New York. Two cops with no axe to grind had their brains blown out by some crazed maniac. They were eating their lunch and probably talking about football or what they were going to do for Christmas. There were no choke holds. There were no hands up. But they still went down because of the uniform they wore. What have we come to?
I got to thinking about this whole anger and revenge thing. Sure I am Irish and can get pissed with the best of them. But could I hold a cold muzzle on someone’s temple and squeeze the trigger? What about a Bushmaster with an extended clip on full automatic spraying death and destruction everywhere? I hope not. Is this all random and aberration or evidence of a world that is going terribly wrong?
Come on TTG we are not that way. Really. How many shake their fists at the TV and abhor everything from presidents to protesters? The One Percent to nee’r do wells in our ghettoes. A love gone wrong or an uncaring boss. We seem to be able to conjure up a contrary thought on just about anything and those are the seeds that feed our unrest. We look for kindred spirits to agree and then lather ourselves with self satisfaction. An exaggeration? Think on.
Listen to our conversations and our demeanor. I can flip off a guy that cut me off in traffic and carry the visceral reaction for blocks. I can be livid at someone who just won’t see my line of thinking. I can reward someone’s supposed cruel or uncaring behavior with cold stares and an attitude that can persist for months. I continually ask my self why?
We love to have people agree with us. It shows our brilliance and insight. We then go on to reinforce that with channels and dailies that prey on our smugness. It must be so. I heard on the radio or saw it in the paper. We become pros at reading the editorials and not quite having the time for the op eds.
Now if you take the contrary you are an asshole through and through. You just don’t get it. How can you possibly feel that way? Don’t you all agree? And then we bathe in the hosannas that are proclaimed in the locker room at the club or the local red neck bar. Peace is tranquility and a sense of ease as long as you are on my side of the argument.
A simplistic way is to take everything as a personal affront. You diss me. You don’t show me no respect. You laughing at me? What are you looking at homie? I’ll show you. I’ll pack heat and brandish it because it’s all about pride and status.
Now that’s in the hood. But are we that so far removed? Power and money can exact a lot of revenge. You say one word I don’t like and you are fired. I can ostracize you with a single phone call that will soon spread the word. It can be the country club or a VFW hall.
I don’t know how to make this all better. How can we sit down and just listen? Why is your belief in this or that so fragile that you can’t look at an alternative view? Why do we need the comfort of the clan to dictate what is right or wrong. It’s gong to take some real powerful forces to change this dynamic. I don’t know that we have them.
I went to my granddaughters winter concert last week. Now we should of course call it a Christmas concert but wait. They go to a charter school that is more than diverse. I would guess the makeup is at least 35% of color. The lineup of songs was Christian, Jewish, Hispanic and African American.
The kids were great. They reeled off everything from Yiddish to Noels. There was no pecking order or self consciousness. They got it. We are all in this together but more importantly it feels good. I wish we could freeze that collegiality in time but I have a feeling they will fall to this prejudice or that. That’s life and I am not that stupid.
I can dream for both of us. Don’t worry you don’t have to raise a finger. I will continue live on blissfully in my naiveté. I think we can be a better country and even a better world. I am going to keep looking. Peace on Earth? There was a guy who lived two thousand years ago. You don’t have to believe he was God. Just think about what he had to say. Treat the other guy or girl just like you would like to be. Is that so far off the wall? Sounds like a plan to me.
Ted The Great.
Sorry there are none. I gotta wrap presents.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.