Blog 1674 – 04.22.2020
Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, Let Me Tell You
In these days of division, of impoliteness, of outright rudeness, everyone is talking, shouting, but few, if any, are really listening, hearing only what we want to hear. These are indeed troubled times and were so even before this latest virus arrived. The man-made virus of “us versus them” had already infected this unprotected country and whole world long before COVID-19. Our enemies domestic and abroad already knew our penchant for hearing only what we already believe and fear of even listening to the other side lest we see and understand anything new and different and so they flooded our social media outlets with more preachers of hate and intolerance till civil thought or speech is almost unheard of and we are all shouting, typing in all caps, but not listening or reading anything that we do not immediately agree with.
Sometimes even the most encouraging word is hard to hear. It is listen. The prophets of old, and few if any were in their own time all that popular, used to go around whispering and shouting, “Hear, O Israel, and Repent.” We know how to listen even when we do not particularly like doing it to words we don’t already know. That is just the first and easier part of the prophets’ pronouncement but repenting, the second, is for most of us a far harder task for it involves, actually consists entirely of, changing our mind and direction. It is quite possible, as most of us men know even while refusing to stop and ask for directions, to be terribly turned around and lost while acting cock-sure and completely in control.
Before we drive this thing right off a cliff or into the ocean we need to stop yelling “My way or the highway” and start listening to one another and figure out who our true friends are and as well our one and only enemy. Pogo whom I have quoted often and will probably continue to says, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” A slightly paraphrased version appears in the below more recent editorial page cartoon.
The U.S. has long touted our love and defense of a free press and our individual right to free speech. Never before in our history perhaps even the history of the world has free speech been such an endangered species, I started to write that but perhaps, as I think about it, free speak has always tittered on the brink of extinction and been long number one on the endangered species list. It being always dangerous and potentially unhealthy to speak our own mind. But lest the hive mind take over completely we must listen more lovingly, allowing others to speak up, and speak up ourselves less harshly, when we disagree.
Someone has said that being truly adult is having the ability to hold two opposing thoughts in our mind at the same time. That being so, perhaps it is time for us to grow up a bit and cease allowing our political, religious, and philosophical puppet masters to control our thoughts and actions with their childish hate and fear mongering puppet shows.
A lot of perhaps hard to swallow words, Crazy Dave, you might say. Let me make it short and simple: It is time to hit the brake on hate, hear the prophets, and turn this car around. Listen, O Israel, (God’s beloved chosen people in the story – and we all are, not just one person or one people) let us turn our hearts and minds, turn them back to loving and supporting one another with all our various ideas and opinions.
A prophet or a son of a prophet I am not, just one guy hoping for more civil discourse and less fearful, hateful words and more loving, encouraging ones.
Be safe and be sweet, my beloveds.
Your friend and fellow traveler,