We. Are. Better. Than. This.

 

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.  ~MLK, Jr.

Lately I’ve had a short temper.

I’ve lashed out, been easily provoked, and have found myself angry more times than I can remember.

I’m not sure if it’s partially this political climate in the United States (and around the world for that matter) that’s influencing my inner tranquility, or if social media has made me less tolerant or patient, or maybe it’s something else or a combination of things…  Either way, I know I’m better than this.

And it’s not just me, everyone seems to be on edge.  People I admire who I know can handle most anything are crumbling at any controversy, whining at every moment, angry at everything… no one seems to have time for the simple things anymore…like joy.

I realized it the other day talking to a friend – his negativity was palpable.  Every word out of his mouth seemed to grate on me.  I pride myself on being an optimist.  It’s my strength.  And his negativity was like sandpaper to my soul.  It made me so sad for him, for me.

I believe the true test of one’s character is shown when life is not easy, when things are hard.  When things are not going perfectly, that’s when our real SHINE comes through.  We expose parts of who we really are in times of tragedy and pain and if we’re strong enough, if we can SEE clearly, even in the worst of times, we can reveal our true selves; hopefully our best selves.

Martin Luther King, Jr.  said it best:

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Yeah, he was so right.  I am so much better than this.

We. Are. Better. Than. This. 

I got this much needed reminder on my headset this morning as I ran on the beach:

What A Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong …. Yes, yes it is!

4 thoughts on “We. Are. Better. Than. This.

  1. There’s a lot to what you’re saying here Carmen. I think the social climate in the U.S. (and you’re right – around the world, including right here in Canada where I live) has been poisoned. And it doesn’t matter which side of the political divide one is on, the poison prevails.

    The divide has stirred up in everyone – regardless of political stripe – a sense of righteousness and anger. We’ve unconsciously allowed ourselves to be pulled into an argument which is predicated on the notion that everything is black and white. We’re all missing the uncomfortable ever-present fact of nuance. And I call it a fact because that’s what it is.

    Though it’s true that a great many racists have found their voices and have voted for Trump, there’s the old woman living on a fixed income who worried about her children having jobs. Trump promised jobs so she decided to vote for him. Those of us who hate Trump with a passion (I do), have lumped her in with the worst of that rightist bunch. She’s lost the benefit of nuance.

    Same goes for the other side. There are folk on the right who think all leftists are whining complainers, incapable of understanding what a budget is. So we get lumped in with all of the leftist extremists out there.

    And neither of us will convince the other of our righteousness, because we’re yelling too loud and we’re judging the other person harshly.

    We saw the evil cloud and in our haste to oppose it, somehow became a little bit evil ourselves.

    Canada thought we were free of all of this, but sad to say – we’re not.

    I’m no longer a religious guy but there were some religious lessons that were just plain wise and should not be abandoned. Like “don’t repay evil with evil, but instead with good.”

    And one non-religious maxim that I’ve tried to follow, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, is: never let the anger and evil of someone else change who you are. That’s hard, especially when they’re right there up in your face.

    That anger, righteous or not, changes who you are – if you’re not careful.

    You’re so right, Carmen: we are – all of us – better than this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re so on point! I think that’s what surprised me most: I let someone else’s “anger and evil” — or in this case, serious negativity change who I normally am. It’s so hard. But yes, I’m trying to stay ME. Doing the best I can. Thanks Wolfie. xo.

      Liked by 1 person

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