We’ve seen persons in all varieties of distress. For a while now, it has been that catchall Bill Clinton pointed out: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Money may not bring happiness but it sure softens one’s outlook. There are too few living with a cheerful outlook; and there are rich, poor and in-between. One doesn’t need to look closely at more recent history to see that from 1945 to - say - 1965 - were some of the best years of our lives. While we rage against war, we are well-suited to war and always have been. Why do the nations so furiously rage together?
That line for Händel’s Messiah was created by his librettist Charles Jennens, and is not in the King James Bible. Psalm 2 begins: Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? And We the People have been raging and imagining vain things long before Holy Writ was going on about it.
That is what it means to be human. Unless - unless! - we are loved and cared for. To give love, produces more love.
This is a long ‘way round to suggesting that the next time you’re tempted to snap at someone - just snap at someone - if you take a moment to smile (which takes fewer muscles than frowning) and say a word or two of conciliation or reconciliation, it may change more than you can imagine, that stone tossed into a lake that sends minuscule ripples into eternity.
A recent example of how important we are to one another:
A woman was fueling her car. Across the pavement, she saw a young man pay for two dollars worth of gas. His clothing was careless to shabby. His car was careless to shabby. There was a miasma of despair, the sort where one has adjusted to failure.
As for the woman, I know her very well so I was alert to a story. She said that when she turned round and she saw his stunning blue eyes, something clicked. It was not unexpected for her to approach him.
She said, “You have beautiful blue eyes.”
“Uh, thank you,” he said.
Later, and in another part of town, she saw a woman approach. The woman asked my friend if she drives a Prius. She does.
She then asked, “Did you tell a young man that he had beautiful blue eyes?”
Then, “I’m that boy’s mother. I want to tell you that he came home, took a shower, dressed in nice clothes, left the house and got a job.”
Yes! This sort-of-thing happens to my friends and me with delightful frequency.
Next time, we’ll chat about Fear - useful and harmful.
In the meantime, say something nice to just anybody.