Recently my pastor made the observation that, "There will always be people who are willing to pee in your Fruit Loops." He was, of course, referring to people who are willing to tear you down in order to perpetuate the illusion that they're taller. He's right, especially these days.
I don't want to get political on this blog, I have a whole different blog for that. Nevertheless, we, Americans, are currently living under a leader who is quick to insult and belittle people in order to puff up his own chest (ego). Like I said, this isn't my blog for political ramblings, so I'm not going to name names here (we know who I'm talking about). I only mention him because he seems to have initiated a wave of negativity across the country.
Granted, hate, bigotry, and cruelly are nothing new, but since I've been alive (born 02/12/1970) I can't remember it being as overt as it is today. When I was young, we knew that the ugliness was there, but its purveyors were just embarrassed enough to keep it on the down low. Today it feels like haters have been given sanction to hate openly. The hoods have come off the Klansmen, and they're marching in the open.
Other than voting, there's not much that most of us can do to heal our country. However, we can distance ourselves from the ugliness by surrounding ourselves with the right people. When I say "right people," I'm not referring to people of the same race, orientation, or socioeconomic status. I'm not even talking about people who know what all the forks are for, although every child should be taught to start with the outside fork and work their way in. I'm talking about people who build us up instead of tear us down.
That's not to say that we have always have to agree with these people. My best friend and I are polar opposites when it comes to immigration. I believe asylum seekers and refugees should be met with food and medicine and ushered into our country. She believes we should be spending resources on our own poor and refugees should be someone else's problem. We never will agree on the issue, but we can still respect each other and love each other as friends.
Surrounding ourselves with those who can share mutual love and respect with us is first step toward breaking the cycle of negativity permeating society. It won't stop the most negative among us from hurling insults. Yet, the insults say more about the insulter than the insulted. When we surround ourselves with respectful loving people we insulate ourselves from the negativity and take the wind out of the sails of those who embrace the negativity.
We can literally change the world by simply surrounding ourselves with kind loving people and showing them kindness and love in return. If enough people do so, just within their own circles, suddenly the world changes.