God, everything sucks now. First of all, I just bought a new pack of underwear and they’re all too small. Every last one of them. I tried different colors and they are all definitely tight.
Not to mention the fact that Robin Williams is gone. Wtf? As they say in “social media.” I’m telling you, more and more I feel like it’s time to gird our loins. The universal suffering is nearly unbearable.
We are living next door to people who feel so isolated and in pain that they surprise us with the way they cope. The problem is that we don’t really know them. They live across the hall in our apartment complex or the next lawn over and we don’t even know their name. And, if they come toward us, we back away.
There are some basic tenets of the Gospel and of humanity that are grossly overlooked today, the obvious being that we are all brothers and sisters. And I think it goes beyond that. We are for some reason scared of each other. We’re scared of reaching out and we’re scared of what really getting to know each other might mean.
Could it be some kind of commitment or getting close to someone who doesn’t fit our idea of “friend” or “neighbor”? For some reason I don’t exactly understand, we’ve become afraid to reach out. We may be one of the richest countries in the world and most technologically advanced but we suck at love your neighbor right now.
We don’t want to get involved. We don’t want to get too close. We’re leery of what someone might want from us. We don’t want to be used or taken advantage of. This means we’re concerned primarily with ourselves and how every little thing impacts us.
Yet this is not our nature. This is not our purpose. We’re built on compassion, on the idea that everyone who lives in our country will be welcome here. But is that who we really are now?
Take a look at our political system right now. We’re so concerned about what party said what on CNN last night that we can’t even move policies forward that pertain to our own people. There are kids in our country who go to bed hungry because our elected officials seem to prefer what happens on television to what happens at their house.
There’s something wrong here and it’s not the death of Robin Williams (although if his death moves people to look closer, that’s great and I bet he’d like that). For reasons that probably have much to do with the way we communicate these days, we’ve left each other.
Now we have to re-learn what made us one family to begin with. It probably starts with recognizing the guy who lives next door.
I will say now, these are trying times my friends. Everything is an extreme. Either I see beautiful initiatives undertaken by compassionate young people or I see crazy people telling me why they should control the activities that go on in my bedroom. There’s not a whole lot of middle ground right now.
That whole gird your loins thing comes back to me. Be vigilant. Be brave. Be yourself and be unafraid to touch your neighbor and to love your neighbor. You don’t know what he goes through all day and you don’t know what he dreams of at night.