Tag Archives: bitterness

an ugly insight from history

I am currently dealing with a number of good people who are angry. Much of that anger is being expressed at me, but I understand why they are angry and what is motivating their anger. The source of their anger and the pain that is causing it is far deeper than me or my words and actions.

Dealing with ugly realities is never easy, and it is especially difficult in a society where we have always desired not dealing with anything ugly, messy or painful. An example is this quote by Voltaire. It is an ugly truth that will immediately make many reading it upset and angry. That, however,m doesn’t change the truthfulness of the quote.

It’s o.k. to get angry at ugly truth and painful facts. But, if we analyze the reason for our anger we have the opportunity to grow from it.

We can then work to either accept or change the ugly truth which makes us angry. Or, as in the case with some of those who are now directing their anger toward me, we can ignore the truth until it becomes an infection of anger and bitterness causing us to lash out in pain.

The only problem with the latter approach is that the source of the infection, that ugly truth still needs to be dealt with, doesn’t it?

 

if you are not outraged…

I am not sure that Thurber’s quote is entirely appropriate for the situation in which we now find ourselves. Looking around with any degree of true awareness, fear and anger will almost certainly be two of the first emotions that come to mind.

I once had a bumper sticker that read, “IF YOU ARE NOT OUTRAGED YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION! Sadly, it has gone the way of all old bumper stickers.

How I wish I had that bumper sticker now. Never has it been more relevant.

I am paying attention. And I am outraged. I am disgusted with the lies and the slander and all the deceit in the current Presidential campaign. But, I am more outraged that all of us who so loudly proclaim to live by Christian values don’t.

I am tired of all of us who play church, but do not live in love, who refuse to be peacemakers, and who really worship at the altars of wealth and power. When I look around in awareness I am saddened to realize that we actually have the government and the leaders we deserve.

we always have a choice

This is a critical understanding for the world in which we find ourselves. Our society is sinking ever lower into a culture of anger, bitterness, hate-speech, disrespect, fear-mongering and deceit.

We may not be able to control the actions of those around us, But, we can always choose how we respond. We always have a choice.

Basic morality, basic decency, and mutual respect should be the norms that provide the framework for our society. I, for one, choose to live by those norms.

I am saddened to see those that speak and act in an intentionally divisive manner, purposely working to weaken and even break our bonds of community. But, I have a choice.  And I choose to live and act in the knowledge that all of us are one global family.

I choose to live in love. What about you?

more violence isn’t the answer

We do not need guns and bombs to bring peace, we need love and compassion. -Mother Teresa:

Responding to violence with violence adds fuel to the flames and keeps the fire burning hotter. Revenge is satisfying, but as Gandhi wrote, “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.”

sometimes it’s better to scream

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We live in an age when values have changed, and continue to change. It is now acceptable to display boorish and uncivil behavior in public and even get applause for it. Today it is acceptable for public figures and nationally recognized political candidates to spew vindictive and racist remarks without fear of backlash.

I, for one, am tired of the hatred, the bitterness and repulsive rhetoric. I am reminded of the early days of Nazi Germany when Adolf Hitler used the same bombastic invective and appeal to fear to inflame his listeners.

We are better than that. When candidates for the highest office in the United States base their  campaigns on fear, on hatred, on racism, on indiscriminate destruction of entire populations, it is time to speak out.

I do not want a President who unabashedly flaunts immoral actions and behavior to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I do not want a leader who uses xenophobia and racial prejudices to appeal to the uneducated.

I may be in a distinct minority, but I remember a time when when such a person would be held up for ridicule and laughed off the stage. That such a clown is now taken seriously is a true indictment of the depths to which our nation has fallen.

If we elect such a man to lead our nation we deserve whatever befalls us.

a prayer for courage

Lord, I come to you this Sunday morning knowing that you are my rock and my strength. I recognize that Your love and Your grace sustain me. Through your love and your mercy I have salvation. I have been redeemed and set free from the bondage of fear through the sacrifice of your Son on the cross.

Yet, when I look around me I see so much fear, so much hatred, so much bitterness. I see uncontrolled rage. I see so much of the world You came to save still enslaved in sin and darkness.

My prayer, this morning, is for forgiveness. I know that so much of the pain that fills our world comes from our lack of true love and our shallow spirituality. I pray that the eyes of all of us who claim to follow Your Son would be opened. Touch our hearts anew with You love and acceptance. Let us realize as never before the true depths of Your love.

Take away our fear. Help us rest in Your love. Help us live alive, unafraid of the evil Your Son has already conquered. Grant us the courage to demonstrate your love in every situation and to rise above the fear and hatred that fills those who do not know You. Empower us to wage peace wherever we go, and allow Your love for the world, the entire world, shine through us. Amen