Easter approaches. Those of us who accept the proper observance of it believe it to be more than a celebration. Maybe it is a time to reaffirm the belief and practice of treating other people the way we would like to be treated.
I have not watched broadcast news or social media news since election day. I’ve heard about impeachments and riots and Biden from my friends, but have made very little effort to get information about these things from any newspaper or other major news sources. Before you accuse me of sticking my head in the sand, I want you to know the reasons and result of my crazy approach to the world.
In spite of errors you and I feel are being said and made nationally, my life has been noticeably more pleasant. I still discuss “important affairs” with my friends. I still have an opinion. But on my own personal priority scale of one to ten, national news has moved from number one to about number, oh, seven I guess. This was not some highfaluting idea or decision on my part; I simply didn’t know where the truth was. There was a day when Walter Cronkite would tell me what was going on and afterward, we’d have dinner. That was a long time ago and that day is gone.
I cannot control what a Congress or a President or a House Speaker or a Senate Majority Leader says or does, other than with my vote. As I tell the phone survey people, “My vote is my opinion and I’ll express it on election day.” I suspect I’ll hang onto that dogmatic response.
Since I have little or no effect on big things, I’ve started concentrating on the little things–my own ability to treat people in the manner I’d like to be treated. And I’m speaking of the people close around me. My friends. My neighbors. People in my community. Doing small good things has an enormous capacity to generate good things in other people. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than what national leaders have demonstrated. The little things are my choice, according to my ability. It’s possible that keeping an eye on the little things could have an effect on the big ones. All I know is that it makes the other person feel better and it makes me feel better. I have watched this capitalist society for many decades. I’m absolutely certain that if enough people stopped watching the news and began treating the people around them better, it would cause broadcasters to tear their hair and gnash their teeth. It’s conceivable that they might change the way they’re behaving.
Maybe I can’t change the world. But I believe I can try to change the little things—the little world around me.
Maybe if more people started treating their own little circle the right way, it could become a habit. Maybe that circle would grow. Maybe that could become powerful. I don’t know this, but doing it for myself restores a brightness to my day. If I watch the news, it takes the shine off.
Of course my idea isn’t new. Many many people around the world, far wiser than I, have adopted it in all sorts of ways for centuries. But I’ve been around the barn a few times and I’ve learned that less is more and simple is best. Being half-simple myself, I think I can do it.