Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Truth Is…

Living near Whiteman AFB, I see stealth bombers and fighter jets on a regular basis. I was walking my dog a few weeks ago and a pair of fighter jets flew overhead. It made me pause and think about how I had no fear of bombs raining down from the sky. The truth is I feel lucky to live in a country where we don’t worry about our enemies dropping bombs on our homes. 

Lately, I’ve seen more hate than I’ve ever seen in my life. It is true that during the Vietnam War protesters were on the news every night taking out their frustration on those drafted into fighting. The death and destruction of war invaded our homes. During that turbulent era, reporters reported the news during a thirty-minute or one-hour broadcast, then they were finished until the next day. Now, we have twenty-four hour politically biased TV pseudo-news, the Internet, and social media. Constant exposure whips some folks into a lather.

The truth is hate doesn’t solve anything; it just increases the problems. If you aren’t part of the solution, you may well be part of the problem. Do you really love your political candidate more than your own family? If you do, I find you to be a scary person with messed up loyalties. Do you really think you can change someone’s mind by throwing a hissy fit every time he disagrees with you? Tantrums might be cute in a toddler, but ridiculous in an adult.

The truth is that it’s easier to believe lies, innuendoes, and gossip than to seek the truth. Lies destroy lives. This is especially true in politics. Baseless rumors dressed up as memes on social media are shared with thousands or millions without regard to the human being targeted. Apparently, sharing this crap is more important than how offensive and reprehensible it is to family and friends.

The truth is life isn’t fair. Never has been, never will be. Bad things happen to good people and bad people prosper. Jim was a good man and, if the world had been fair, his life would have never been cut short by dementia. If life were really fair, lightning bolts would strike down truly evil people who have gone beyond redemption.

The truth is cruelty should not be tolerated. Cruel people are ugly people from the inside out. When we support cruelty, or give it a wink, we are responsible for our own actions or reactions. Selfishness damages the hearts of people who love you. Lately, I’ve witnessed feuding among family members causing pain for their mother, unkind “dramatic” actions spewing anger at a friend, and treating a person with dementia as if he is no longer human and can’t be hurt.

The truth is we are all human regardless of religion, nationality, race, sexual orientation, political party, or economic status. Each classification has good, bad, and indifferent people. There is an ultimate danger in lumping everyone with a common denominator under a single umbrella of hate or dehumanization. On the other hand, you can’t put your trust in someone for the simple reason he falls within one of those categories. Bad people do bad things without regard to your preconceived opinion. Good people come from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds.

The truth is love hurts. We like to think that love equates happiness, but just as high as the highs, the lows are not only low, they can be rock bottom. Love can be a weapon, a bargaining chip, or the most unselfish act in the world. How you use love defines you as a human being. I’ve discovered throughout my life that either you love someone or you don’t. Infatuation is not love. Lust is not love. Admiration is not love. Saying “I love you” is not love.

You don’t have to look far to see what love is: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

At least with the people we love, each of us should strive to become less judgmental when they believe differently than we do. The truth is this would be a scary world, indeed, if we all thought alike. Thoughtful and respectful differences are a good thing. We need to become truth seekers.

Copyright © July 2016 by L.S. Fisher

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