Due Respect

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October 4, 2021- Some one of these days, the old man (me) will take a hike from one rim of the Grand Canyon to the other. Someone I love dearly just accomplished the feat, and as proud as I am of that adventurous soul, I know it will not be her last time doing this. One time or another, I will manage it as well. I may even make it part of an Arizona Trail trek.

I started reading a couple of books dealing with the respect that people ought to inherently have for one another. One is written by a young woman, essentially pointing out what my mother said when we were kids- “A human being is not a toy!” I personally think that everyone ever born has had or has a life plan. Many of the people are physically attractive, one attribute among dozens that a person may incorporate. I hold that everyone is to be educated and guided to make informed choices. The woman who wrote this book chose to place a photo of herself on the back cover. She has a beautiful face and svelte physique-and chose to feature these, while making the point that she will neither hide herself, nor flaunt her attributes. They are part of who she is, and nothing more.

The other book, dealing with subconscious racism and the fear that those who have it-have of it, is written by a woman who faces and is dealing with this phenomenon, as she is experiencing it within herself. I have had to do the same, over the years, in rooting out such biases. Thankfully, people of colour have been forthcoming, and the vast majority have been kind about pointing out how unnecessary such microaggressions and awkward behaviours are. With those encounters, the baggage has been shed.

The point of all this is-I am, and you are, going to keep meeting comely members of the opposite sex, and of own gender, for that matter. We are going to encounter people of other ethnicities and skin tones. The point of most such meetings is in the course of something each is doing, that has nothing to do with romantic exchange, finding a mate or establishing one’s superiority over other people. It has everything to do with being as supportive as possible, of the other person’s hopes and dreams-and their being as supportive as possible of yours.

Friendship is the best, the finest, possible outcome of our random daily encounters. I treasure each such outcome, every chance to support a fellow human in the legitimate elements of her/his life plan.

Integrity

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October 1, 2019-

Every crisis that strikes between people, and within a person, is a matter of integrity.  The old saw defines integrity as “the way a person behaves when no one is looking.”  The problem is, someone without integrity will have difficulty in code switching.  When one is outside of one’s room, there are most likely going to be other people around, going about their own business, and simultaneously noting what everyone around them is doing.  So, the non-integrated person will go about being foolish, or angry, or drawing attention to self.

A person with integrity, on the other hand, will take the presence, as well as  the legitimate feelings and rights of other people, into consideration, before engaging in an activity.  There will be ownership of that activity, no blame-casting, gaslighting or obfuscation.

I have come by integrity, after much self-work, over the years.  Ownership of my mistakes and errors has at times been painful, and come at a great price.  In the end, I am more worthy of being in the world and have been able to achieve more.

I say this, looking at various public figures, several of whom have a fair degree of integrity and others whose public persona is one of “duck, doge and hide”.  Some of these people are obvious to anyone, whilst others have managed to keep their inner character a secret, behind a facade of  “good works”.

Sooner or later, though, as we have been seeing, the truth comes clear: “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” (Luke, 8:17)  This truth is well to be remembered by BOTH sides, in any given dispute.  The first thing that needs to be established is, “Who lacked integrity first, and to what degree?” Then may the truthfulness of others be established. This is the whole purpose of legal cross-examination and academic rebuttal-that things which are not as they seem, should be made clear.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right” has never been truer.  This is all I have to say, for now, on the current state of affairs in our nation’s capital.