Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Primaries and The Meek

Last night was the New Hampshire primary, and although he didn't win, John Kasich gave a speech that really made me think. He spoke about how we all need to slow down a little bit, give people the benefit of the doubt, and generally, be kinder to each other.

Of course, the commentary afterwards was that his speech wasn't appropriately toned. It was too soft, and was too "chicken soup for the soul."

Trump, however, came on, basically thanked all the smiling assholes standing around him, obviously had nothing prepared and what he said had little relevance, much less respect, to the office of the Presidency.

The commentators ate it up. And I quipped to my husband that it's like he's special just for showing up and they are holding him to a much different standard than the other candidates.

"He tells it like it is."

That's what his supporters say. He makes derogatory comments about the other candidates, tells Megan Kelly that she must be on her period, is racist, loud and absolutely obnoxious, and he wins the New Hampshire primary. Because our backwards western society values dominance, aggression and a sharp tongue.

Our society eats nice people for breakfast. Not just in politics, but in everyday situations. When someone gains from someone else, it's seen as a victory, not a nicety on the part of the "losing" party. The passive person is the lesser. Weaker. There always has to be a winner and a loser.

And this resonated with me because many times in my life, I've been referred to as weak. I've been told that by doing for others, or giving chance after chance, I'm being naive.

If I offer someone a ride, they are going to rob me. I get burned, time and time again, by someone I love, and I forgive. I give homeless people money, ignoring the whispers about how they may spend it. There I go again, big 'ol dummy, Amy.

The biblical verse, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth", is something that I've been pondering lately. Especially given our modern sense of what it means to be meek.

The definition of the word "meek" has changed substantially since biblical times. When the words, "...the meek shall inherit the earth", were first written, "meek" was used to describe people who exercised a restraint when in power. To be meek meant to consider the needs of all, not just ourselves. It was our job as a people to look for opportunities to be of service to others, and when slighted, to suppress the desire for retribution and forgive.

Now, to be meek means that you lack in courage and back down in a fight. No one wants to be meek. Everyone wants to be the top dog. Everyone for themselves.

What people don't seem to understand is that exercising that meekness, in the form of being kind, does not make you weak. It takes strength and restraint to be kind, especially to those who find victories in your kindness. 

Kind people can be strong. We can be vengeful. We can hold grudges and refuse to extend our hands, but we don't. Kind people just refuse to believe that our society is dominated by corruption. We want to think that we are making a difference in the lives of others. It's what gets us out of bed each day.

To me, personally, there's nothing sadder than living in a world where you think that everyone is out to screw you. When I meet someone, instead of being hesitant to let them in, I presume they have a good heart and are coming from a good place, until I'm proven otherwise. I see people in rose colored glasses, which is both a blessing and a curse.

Kindness and respect are things that are lacking in this world and we need to start celebrating meekness in our culture instead of  applauding power plays and throwing others under the bus.

Make sure to respect the kind people in your life. Take in the message and pass it on. Create some sunshine of your own. Listen to Kasich's message and slow down a bit. Talk to your neighbors. Look people in the eyes. Reserve judgment. He's absolutely right, it's what this world needs. And although I doubt Kasich will win the Republican nomination, because our society seems hell bent on ending the world and electing Trump, maybe he can give a few more speeches and teach Trump some goddamned manners.

Around 7:20 is where his begins discussing how we need to treat each other. Check it out.

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