I walked around town this morning since it was not too hot. I thought a lot while I walked. Forrest Gump said that’s what he did while he was running out and back across America. Thought about things.
I thought first about how lucky I am. I am luckier than 99% of the people in the world. I’ve never gone hungry or been homeless. I had good parents, I married a good woman and I have a good family. I’ve lived to almost 65 years now (thanks to modern medicine and some good heart surgeons) and most days have been good days. I’ve been free to read the books I wanted to read, and to get into my car and drive anywhere in the USA where I wanted to go. The creator of the Universe has given me the privilege and opportunity to live this physical life in this physical world, and the ability to experience all my human emotions. What a wondrous thing!
I thought about all of the bad things which have been taking place lately. My wife and I were discussing this just recently, and came to the conclusion that lack of respect for other people and their right to have their own opinions, lack of manners and politeness, and lack of love, are near the root cause of many of these bad things which are happening. Basic respect, which my parents taught me, and which I taught my children is sadly lacking nowadays. Respect for life, respect for beliefs, respect for different cultures, respect for personal space, respect for the opposite sex, respect for people’s property. On and on and on….
As Aretha Franklin sang: R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!
I have a problem with people idolizing people who have no respect for others. When it comes to something such as say…politics…I would vote for a respectful candidate who I didn’t necessarily agree with over a disrespectful person who I agreed with 100%. Yes, I am at that point. Respect and manners are that important to me now. As I have mentioned before, the scene from “Lonesome Dove” where Captain Call runs down the Scout who had just hit his young son with a whip and nearly beats the Scout to death, only being stopped from doing it by Gus throwing a rope around him. “I hate rude behavior in a man” he sputters to Gus “I won’t tolerate it”.
I guess that’s where we come in. We need to be intolerant of rude behavior, ranging from saying the “f” word in public at the local gym in front of a group of people including women, all the way to the ultimate rudeness of murdering someone in cold blood, to everything in between. We do…not…have to tolerate it. We do not have to tolerate the rude behavior of any religion which causes hurt or death to other people. We do not have to tolerate behavior from people who are supposed to protect us, which leads to the harm or death of other humans. I submit that we have essentially the same right as Captain Call to protest this rudeness albeit hopefully in a less violent manner.
I cannot cover all the things I thought about. I wish sometimes I had a little tape recorder in my head. I’ve forgotten some arguments over the years that would persuade Clarence Darrow. I’ve let some of the most winning of song lyrics float off through the air. I’ve solved the problems of the world many a night in my hot bath (due to the great circulation hot water causes to the brain) but they have slipped away on the fluffy towel as I dry off.
Anyway, I am thankful for this day and revel in the life it provides. I want to continue with it a while longer in order to help as many people as I can. I hope everyone has a great afternoon.