This was going to be a different post when I first imagined it. Something like a primer or such about some of the top ways to show kindness to others. What happened though was (I can’t get it out of my headspace right now) an act of rudeness.
Some people I know we’re headed back from their wedding weekend, and my wife and I went round their place to hang up a welcome home and best wishes to their new life banner.
Turns out we weren’t the first ones to have thought of the couple. And while our sentiment was crafted at home, the earlier people had bought their form of expression a dozen at a time.
Now I understand it was Easter weekend and such and so eggs are plentiful this time of year. And I suppose mishaps could happen, but launching little grenades with golden centers toward a person’s home strikes me as a few things: rude, cowardly, and unimaginative.
So while on the whole I believe manners matter, I was brought back to the idea that this is not a belief shared by all. And manners aren’t enough.
Now this couple starting their new life may not be seen by some as equally deserving of being married, or sharing their lives together, or falling in love, or existing — but they do.
I have some experience in being surrounded by a majority who hold a different belief. Most of them happily rose yesterday to celebrate a miracle of their faith. And I am grateful they have their sense of faith and sense of belonging and sense of meaning. We all deserve that.
And they deserve to have peace in their life as much as anyone else felt this past Sunday. It is OK. Just as it is OK for me to choose to believe in neither Easter Bunny nor Resurrection.
And while manners matter, it seems like more often than not they matter in a conditional way. I am sure the throwers of eggs would not target the home of their pastor, or grandmother, or friends. But somehow that decency doesn’t extend to their neighbor.
And often our decency doesn’t extend to every neighbor. Only the right neighbor. The one just like us. Never the other, the different than, the believer in something else.
So here is the challenge, a call to action. Treat your neighbors, all your neighbors, like yourself. Feed them, clothe them, celebrate with them, protect them, care for and about them, accept them, be kind to them. You wouldn’t throw eggs (real or metaphorical) at your own house so how bout we don’t throw them at other people’s homes.
Thanks as always,
With civility ~ Brian