I tire of political ads, speeches, campaigns wherein the focus centers on dissing opponents. Can’t recall when this became customary, but it has always struck me as poor taste. I hate few things. This is one of them. It might be the especially volatile climate of today and weighty bitterness and injustices witnessed cities-wide, a shaking pandemic, or that I’m just getting older and less tolerant of subjecting myself to this much negativity. Because I seem to have developed a recent habit of turning off the radio or television just as soon as a politician begins this focused rant—and it’s usually by the third or fourth word. I know I’m idealistic to a fault, but I just wish I could hear a passionate speech on proposals, personal principles, and persuasive stands with the strength to stand on its own merit without the use of harsh words ripping another by ugly comparisons and throw-downs.
Years ago, I’d served as a ghostwriter for political content. It can be well-paid, eye-opening work, but not for me I finally realized. I just couldn’t stomach it anymore. Am I tainted by the experience? Sure. I’ve had more than my share of exposure to those who like to rule with brutal words and iron fists. But I always end up asking: Do unsavory words for the purpose of propelling an agenda (or for any reason) add virtue or honor? Do they truly enlighten or inform us on the issues at hand?
Yet, instead of growing harder, I seem to be softening under iron fists. I suppose I’m yearning for people, leaders, who dare to operate by a different slogan; one I’m trying--really trying to implement in my own circle: “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (1 Peter 3:8). While I’m aware we will not all have unity of mind in this lifetime, on this earth, with such a range of discordant issues and beliefs, I think if we practice sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind (that is, putting the welfare of others before our own)—even just one of these—then maybe we’d behave a little better toward one another. Take better care with the words we use for each other, our fellow humans. We might even earn respect. Today, I value kindness to a much greater degree, and I beg, I beg it begins within me.
Someone told me I needed to get more well-grounded in the South. I couldn’t disagree and I’m always up for discovery. What will bring it about at a greater degree for me is music, followed by cuisine because I really like food. Borrowing a musical library I went on a binging diet of bluegrass-folk-country-Americana and the various sounds of Appalachia. My favorite so far: The Civil Wars. This duo has so much chemistry and soulfulness between them. I was also able to watch their “Bluegrass Underground”concert held in a cave at the Cumberland Caverns not far from where I live (how did I not know about this place???).
I then went on a hunt for the best fried green tomatoes. And just when I thought I found them I discovered another place that serves them up so very well, *Jacque’s Whistle Stop Café in Friendsville, TN - a small, eclectic eatery full of antiques and unique memorabilia. This exploration has been fun, interesting, delish!—and I’m still savoring the haunting sounds of The Civil Wars.
*I was sad to learn on my last visit to Jacque's that the café is no longer in business. : (