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Beacon Senior News

The world needs some TNT

Jan 25, 2021 02:26PM ● By Karen White-Walker
Tolerance and Tenderness - people holding heart

A woman I accidentally bumped into the other day was so irate, the obscenities spewing out of her mouth would have darkened even the world’s most muddied waters.

Repeatedly saying sorry didn’t appease her, so instead of extending an olive branch, I had the urge to shove it at her! But then I would’ve been no better.

In our anxious, angry world, the least we can do is be kind to one another. Or, is it the most we can do? 

This pandemic wasn’t on our bucket list. We’ve never experienced anything like it, and we’re finding ourselves number one in the worst possible way. 

As Americans, we’re surpassing the entire world’s statistics in contracting and dying from COVID-19. I’m ashamed, embarrassed, disgusted and heartsick. Because—in spite of that lousy woman I plowed into—I care deeply for mankind and I love my country.

I’ve often said that I meet only the nicest people. I’ve had kind strangers help me during many moments in my life. Either I’m emitting some good vibes, or I look both helpless and hopeless.

I keep reassuring myself that we’re all going to get through these unfathomable times.  But the constant discord between both political parties only keeps us sidetracked from dealing with today’s crucial life and death situations. If not a pandemic, what more does it take to shake us into sensibility? If it weren’t for the medical profession, front-line workers and considerate people who wear face masks and social distance, we probably would’ve all experienced a more horrific last few months.

So many times I’ve heard people say that they’re only one person; what can they do? Well, I can name several individuals who changed the world—Gandhi, Mandela, Mother Teresa, John Lewis. We, your “average” Americans, must imitate and become in small ways like such people.

“It’s all my husband and I can do not to kill each other!” cried my neighbor, whose husband has been constantly home since March, “And you’re telling us to model ourselves after them? Are you crazy? We’ve already become Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr!”

“With kindness, you can pull an elephant by a hair.” If only those simple, wise words could be tattooed on every peacemakers’ forehead. Then, maybe the abrasive, bitter and abusive people they encounter would be deterred from their destructive ways. Elephants are known for their intelligence, but are we?

In the spirit of the new year, I can only pray that we can do one better—toss in compassion with kindness, too! 

To tell you the truth, I think it’s harder to be hateful than to try to be happy. So, like the song says, “Make it easy on yourselves.”

Karen White-Walker has been writing since she was 14 years old. She’s the wife of one, a mother of four, a teacher of thousands, a playwright of eight produced plays, and a writer of over 300 articles.