Flipping through the television channels and scanning online message boards and blogs, one notices something is sorely missing: Respect.
Disappearing are the days when people used tact and consideration when discussing a topic. Today whoever casts the juciest zinger or the most crass insult will claim victory of some sort. Sarcasm has replaced thoughtful dialogue. Name calling and curse words are tossed around as often as words such as "if", "and" or "but". It's like a disease--a disease that seems to be contagious. I myself have been working on watching the words I say, especially those flippant curse words. I can really fling them when I want to. And yet, in those moments when I actually hear myself, when I hear what others are likely hearing from me, I am disturbed. I sound horrible. This is not something to be proud of or to embrace. So now and then I ask myself the following: Do I wish to create something helpful or something destructive?
Our often out-of-control ego's think we/they know it all. And yet, in reality, who defines what is truth? Who really knows it all--about ANY topic? I have personally come to embrace those who say "this is what I/we believe/think" and raise a sceptical eye towards those who say "this is truth." I have opinions, many of which are still a work-in-progress. On many subjects, what I believe today is different than what I believed 5 years ago. Toss out a thought, any thought and you can come up with an opposite thought. Toss out a "well studied" idea and you can come up with another "well studied" idea with opposite conclusions.
I have a hunch that a lot of these hot topics that are so hotly debated are generated to keep us fighting and arguing with one another. I have an equally strong hunch that this is to keep us from uniting together on things that matter, where we discuss the things that matter to EVERY ONE OF US (well, those of us with souls and a conscience). Where we break down the emotional and mental walls we have built, with plenty of help from the system itself, and discuss what it is we truly need. Not just what we think but what we need.
You want peace? Be peaceful.
You want love? Be loving.
You want respect? Be respectful.
This isn't a perfect formula by any means. But it is a good recipe in which to live life.
Maybe the doctor's oath of "first do no harm" should be on our minds, in our hearts and played out in our actions. Maybe we need to take a breath and think about those words before share our thoughts--both written and spoken.