The older I get and the more I see, the more I realize that I don’t know everything. I have always had opinions. I have always thought that I had a right and fair view of the world, but now I realize I just don’t know as much as I thought I did. Especially when it comes to knowing other people, I know very little about people and their motivations and their realities.
We all think we understand people and their motivations. We think people fit the labels we put on them. They don’t. We see someone and label them as “good” or “bad.” We always think “we are good” and “they are bad.” We think all the bad people deserve our scorn and hatred. All the good people get a pass. Life isn’t really like that. I now realize that I know lots of people and they’re all complex. I know people that are really wonderful and not racist, yet they voted for Trump. I know people that are generally good people when it comes to their job and family but are racist. I know people that have been to prison for various crimes and have come out and started wonderful families and have great jobs. I know people that smart and funny but are also pathological liars and criminals.
I know cops and soldiers and firemen. I know doctors and lawyers and engineers. I know drug dealers. It’s not your job that makes you a good person. It’s not your political party that makes you a good person. It’s how you treat other people. Right now most of the country is failing this test. It’s sad. I wish I could say I’m totally above it, but I am not. I am pissed.
Nonetheless I temper my anger by trying to summon as much empathy as I can muster. I want to respect that people are all feeling a lot of emotions and tempers are heated. My hope is that people will be able to find common ground and love each other despite our differences. My hope is the people look at themselves and their own issues more than they point the finger at others. I know that’s what I try to do most of the time.