Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The hope for peace

How can I sit here and hope for world peace when it is nearly impossible to get along with my family, neighbors, or the people at my church? I do fervently long for world peace. I think that I work toward it in my life and actions. Or do I?

I like to think of myself as an unusually kind person. Hah! What a laugh! And not just because of my mean entry about Sandy (who is in fact dying; she is zoning out to that other land as we speak). That entry, my friends, is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

I caught myself falling into the trap of being rude to other people, just this week. My boss, Gerry W., reminded me today that it is never acceptable to be rude to others. He is so patient with clients who don't listen, who don't bring essential paperwork for completing their tax returns, who all but accuse him of losing their paperwork, when they still have it and it is just misplaced somewhere. I told him he sure is patient, and he said mildly, "There isn't any reason not to be."

Virtually everyone is rude sometimes. Some people are rude most of the time; others, hardly ever. It's one of those thoughtless sins. But think now: What possible reason would justify rudeness? Now, if someone needs a little righteous anger to correct them, done from a place of love and for the purpose of discipline, that's different. My kids are on the receiving end of that regularly. But it's good to remember that only rarely is anger justified. There are so few people who can handle giving a well-measured dose of righteous anger. I don't think that I have the discernment to do it, most of the time. (Of course, I direct my anger at others all the time, anyway!)

Being rude is a lazy, knee-jerk reaction. It often feels good to put someone else down; it's a feeling of having power over another human being, of being one-up on them. It's easy to slip into rudeness, almost without being aware, when feeling emotionally or physically worn down, or just frazzled. Having been picked on way too much as a child, I think that I would never be that way to another person. But even for me, it's hard to be aware of rudeness until it is too late -- it's such a human tendency.

Anyhow, before I diverge into an unrelated topic (which I just did & had to erase), I have to wrap this one up by saying that rudeness is closely linked with violence. If we are rude to someone, we are dehumanizing them. Rudeness is a form of verbal violence. When neighbors murder neighbors, such as in Rwanda and many other places in the world (the Russian polemics are another example), that level of hatred is made possible by dehumanizing thoughts and actions. Rudeness is on the the family tree of "violence" and should be forever banished as unacceptable practice. It doesn't matter that it seems so much more palatable than cutting off someone's head.

OK then, Julie, start banishing it from your life!

Note to any readers: If you are brave enough to try to muddle through these posts, be patient and remember that I am out here practicing and honing a skill. I'm also playing and experimenting because I feel free to do so. I'm aware that these posts don't necessarily hang together or "work" or are too long, etc., etc. I am working at improving this area of my life and this skill that I love above all others. It's funny -- I have read comments on the blogs of friends that say things like "this wasn't very well written" or "you might want to change such-and-so" and I think, the nerve! Hey, most of blogland is free out here. I'm not getting paid a dime, here, so anybody reading cannot have any expectations. Ya get what ya pay for! And if you feel tempted to criticize, buzz off already! There. That wasn't rude, not at all. Just a bit of fun.

Random pic of the day: hey, dude. It's not cool to be rude. (This is me & Andrew on the cruise and he is the cool dude.)

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