“Rudeness is merely the expression of fear.”

“Rudeness is merely the expression of fear. People fear they won’t get what they want. The most dreadful and unattractive person only needs to be loved, and they will open up like a flower.”
– M. Gustave in The Grand Budapest Hotel

What is it that makes us, as human beings, proud of our anger – proud to have “told someone off”? I’ve come to believe it’s all about ego, really – wanting to prove we are somehow better, braver, stronger than other people. And I’ve come to see that a) in my own experience, yelling at other people has never seemed to convince them I was right, or changed their ideas about stuff, and b) it doesn’t take a whole lot of courage, really, to spout off one’s opinions and beliefs, and cuss and swear and be rude.

It is my belief that it takes a lot more chutzpah to love – it takes a lot more courage to trust in each other’s good will and humanity, than it does to scream obscenities at each other. In fact, when I think about it – the times when I’ve been the rudest are the times when I’ve been the most scared that I wasn’t going to “get my share” or I was going to be left out somehow, or forgotten or over-looked or harmed in some way.

And something in that last paragraph just made me think of a time when I found myself trying to break up a fight in a parking lot – one guy sitting on top of another punching his face bloody, banging his head into the concrete, and a ring of other guys around them – I found myself in the middle of the circle trying to yank the one guy off the other one, screaming, “Stop it! You’re going to kill him! Stop it!” Instinct (and, in retrospect, a kind of foolishness) had put me in the middle of that circle – there’d been no thought given to what I was doing, and so I can’t claim any special kind of courage there. But – and here’s the part that still gives me a kind of awe when I think about it – after security guards had hauled away the brawlers I stepped back and found that another woman – the parent of one of my former students – had stepped into the circle with me. I remember saying to her, in a kind of wonder, “You’re here, too!” And she said, “I wasn’t going to let you stand here all alone.” She HAD thought about what she was doing – she HAD made a conscious choice to put herself in harm’s way for another human being. She hadn’t screamed. She hadn’t yelled. She’d just stood there beside me. Now THAT was courage. Oh gosh. I’m tearing up right now as I think about it.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“There is too much animal courage in society and not sufficient moral courage.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
– Gandhi

“Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.” 
– Gandhi

“A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
– Gandhi

(Originally published November 2014 under the title “So, like, when did bitchy become a good thing?”)

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“We should remember that the world is wide…”

This passage from Mary Baker Eddy’s Miscellaneous Writings came into my thoughts this morning. I thought it was worth sharing with y’all…

“…It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our
self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism
that feels hurt by another’s self-assertion. Well may we
feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford
to be miserable for the faults of others…

“We should remember that the world is wide; that there
are a thousand million different human wills, opinions,
ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different
history, constitution, culture, character, from all the
rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless
action and reaction upon each other of these different
atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest
expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen
relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great,
and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction
of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with
an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor
accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a
charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and
sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, – determined
not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor
even when it is…”

A Few Observations

I want to thank those of you who have crossed the political aisle over the last year or so and come over to shake my hand and introduce yourselves and your perspective on the world in a thoughtful and reasonable way. You are appreciated. I have learned from you. Some of you have become my friends.

And for those of you who have crossed the political aisle to tell me to “shut up” and to call me a *moron*, a *whiner*, a *libtard*, and a *snowflake* – I thank you, also. You, too, have been an education for me.

A few observations: Hurling insults and personal attacks at people rarely wins them over to our way of looking at things. It usually does just the opposite, in fact. Calling people “unproductive” and “lazy” – when we know nothing about their lives or work – is unlikely to persuade them to join our “team.” Telling them that the leader of our “team” has accomplished loads of great things – and then failing to provide a list of those accomplishments, or the sources for our information – is not very persuasive, either. We can’t,just make stuff up and then call it “facts.” And “fake” news isn’t just the news we don’t happen to like.

Alrighty then. Have a great rest of your day.
Peace.
– Karen

“We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it,—determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor even when it is…”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings

 

earth NASA

Thinking for Ourselves

Several folks have now shared the opinion that we should stop reading the news and “think for ourselves.” And… a few things:

1) The fact that several folks have parroted the almost exact same words about “thinking for ourselves” leads me to believe that they are not actually thinking for themselves, themselves.

2) “Thinking for ourselves” shouldn’t just mean making up “facts” as we go along, or pulling “the truth” out of our kiesters. To really “think for yourself” you have to be informed and knowledgeable.

3) It doesn’t take any special kind of talent to spout off a bunch of opinions – anyone can do that. To really be a thinker, you need to be able to separate opinions from facts. And to separate opinions from facts, you need to have some facts to separate the opinions from. And where do we get our facts? Well… by reading the news, right? And not by reading just one news source (one news source could easily be biased) – but by reading multiple sources. And not just by reading the editorials – which are, by definition, opinion pieces – but by reading actual news stories.

Okay. That’s all I’ve got right now. Carry on then…

“The time for thinkers has come.” –
Mary Baker Eddy

Nothing I need to add to this one…

I was looking through old drafts in my wordpress file, and came upon this quote:”I care not what you believe; not one atom do I care; the one important thing for me to know is this – that you are entitled to my compassionate consideration; you are entitled to my respect; you are entitled to my applause for all that you do that is in the right direction. You are entitled to my kindest wishes, to my deepest encouragement; and you are entitled to nothing from me but that which means love and charity and loving kindness, and you must not get anything else from me.” – Edward A. Kimball

And I can’t think of anything else I need to add to that.

My Go-To People

During this contentious political season – when stories of defriending, blocking, ad homineming, weeping and much gnashing of teeth are circulating on Facebook – I feel compelled to take a moment and give a shout out to the friends who have shown nothing but class to me – even though we sometimes/often disagree on political issues. These are my “go-to” people when I need a different perspective on things…

republican-friends

“We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it…”
– Mary Baker Eddy