You know, it suddenly struck me recently that we don’t need complicated definitions for competing political, economic and social philosophies to determine how we should interact when living and working together in a community, a society, a co-op, a family, a nation, a world.
We just need to remember the definition of words like ‘decency,’ ‘honor,’ ‘loyalty,’ ‘respect,’ and best of all – ‘nice.’
We don’t need a Supreme Court, a Judge, a President, a United Nations, a nag, a nanny or the Mayor of Chapel Hill to tell us when the manner of our political, economic or social interaction with others is wrong.
We just need to be conscious of whether or not something we are doing is likely to hurt someone else.
Take a moment to look around you. Think about your work-mates. Your family, your friends. The bar last evening. The Church on Sunday. The General Assembly the night before last. The local newspaper. WCHL this morning. The past week. The previous year. The social and political ups and downs since before you were born.
We are not in the mess we are in today, from the spat with our partner, through the CVS building at Greensboro and Weaver, to the coming fracas over fracking, because some grand human design failed.
We are where we are. Where you are. Because we forgot the most basic rule of living with 7 billion other human beings: You gotta own responsibility for the consequences of what you do and say. Or, to put it more simply, we stopped listening when our brain screamed at us: ‘OMG, I can’t do that, it’s mean!!’
We don’t need to crash this, burn that, or re-build the other to find a better way forward. We just need to start being honest with ourselves, and to start caring a bit more about how we behave with respect to others.