If I had to use only one word to describe the prevailing attitude in America today, it would be grouchy.
When I’m in pain, or frustrated, or worried, I tend to be grouchy. I’m thinking a lot of our communal grouchiness is the result of those same feelings, though on a much larger scale.
It’s okay to be grouchy sometimes, but it’s looking like an epidemic.
We can’t take away the pain, frustration, or worry, but restoring a little bit of faith in humanity will go a long way toward curing the Grouchies.
How can we turn those frowns upside down?
We can love our neighbors as ourselves (AKA Leviticus 19:18 and Mark 12:31), or as it’s better known, The Golden Rule.
You may have heard The Golden Rule to be He Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules, or even Do to Others Before They Do to You.
To refresh our collective memories, the Golden Rule is Do to Others as You Would Have Others Do to You. The reverse applies as well--Do Not Do to Others as You Would Have Others Not Do to You.
What does that look like?
If you want someone to smile at you, smile at them. If you don’t want the door slammed in your face, don’t slam it in theirs. If you want someone to respect your person, property, and point of view, then respect theirs. If you don’t want someone stealing your stuff, don’t steal theirs. Embracing and living this one rule alone could solve a world of problems.
I think you get the picture, but if that doesn’t work for you, we’ll up the ante.
What’s the quickest and surest way to make Mama Bear grouchy? Mess with her cubs. I mean, hurt me all you want, but don’t you dare lay a finger on my kids. In Golden Rule speak, that would be do to others as you would have others do to YOUR CHILD, and don’t do to others as you would not have others do to YOUR CHILD.
In other words, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want someone to do to your child, but by all means, feel free to do all of the things you would. Be kind. Be patient. Encourage. Support. Teach. Let love be your guide.
Then there’s this angle: If people loved their neighbors there would be a distinct decline in theft, assault and battery, even murder and human trafficking (both with sellers and buyers). The news media, one major source of our collective grouchiness, would be out of fear-mongering stories. That alone is worth it to me.
Hmmmm. I take back what I said earlier about not being able to take away the pain, frustration, or worry. If we lived The Golden Rule, it would be entirely possible for the prevailing attitude in America to become love.