Hold Your Fire, Valentine

Again and again I’ve noticed that we humans are quite capable of being good to each other when we get to know each other face to face.

I do realize that some people are just eat up with meanness and dishing out the meanness left and right at this low point in time, but honestly, those people, even now, are still the exception.

The rest of us, though we may be quite incompatible in more ways than not, can get along just fine with someone once we get to know them a little. After all, we’ve all had the surprise experience of making friends with someone who couldn’t be more opposite.

So here’s what I recommend:

Given that it’s well-nigh impossible to change another human being, and given that we’re blessedly past the Great Shit Show of 2016, and given that it is what it is at this moment, it’s time we throw a little love into the mix.

A lot of love, actually; it’s time to haul out the good stuff that’s been aging in the basement.

It’s time to love each other, because in spite of everything that’s happening, we’re still in this together.

In spite of our considerable differences and in spite of our loathing for another’s political and religious missteps against our own politics and religion, we still exist on this earth together.

Of course, we do have the option of just fighting it out and killing each other—that’s still on the table.

But maybe we can do better than that.

Maybe we can see eye to eye on not fighting it out until we just blow the whole place up.

That’s where love comes in.

And in case it’s not obvious, you don’t have to like someone to love them.

You don’t have to make friends with everyone—you just have to respect their humanity:

Their right to be entirely different from you.

Their right to be whatever weird or objectionable way they are.

Their right to make their own decisions—even decisions you find questionable.

Their right to think altogether differently than you do.

Their right to have practically nothing in common with you.

Their right to look different than you do. To eat different foods. To have a different religion. Or no religion at all.

Their right to exist on the planet with dignity equal to yours.

Love is just acting out the golden rule.

Which, if you’re not up on your churchin‘, is where Jesus says to treat people like you want them to treat you.

With respect. Genuine respect.

And none of this tough love shit, where we say we love other humans but stand our ground when we have some sort of policy to uphold. And I don’t give a shit about policy. I don’t care how complicated it is.

Love is love, and people are people. Plain and simple.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it appears we’ve got a good vs. evil thing going, but guess what? On a day-to-day basis we just have each other. And when it comes down to it, we still just have each other.

And we really, truly cannot be on the side of good if we behave with meanness in our hearts, now can we?

I can’t pretend I have any real answers here. I can only tell you that when we relate to people as fellow human beings on this planet together, we make progress for humanity.

In one of the creeds we say in my church, we pledge to “respect the dignity of every human being,” and I get chills every time we say that. To me, this is what the golden rule is, and this is what love is.

And if love isn’t what this is all about, then I don’t know why we’re even here.

Go forth, shiny people, and be especially kind and respectful since it’s Valentine’s Day or thereabouts if you’re reading this later on.

But over-achieve a little. Get your golden rule groove on—

Because clearly, humanity desperately needs your help.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone, everywhere




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