I’ve only done the silliest thing. I had planned a small meeting.
Now it’s funny how my mind works. I tend to be old-fashioned, I tend to think about manners (so as not to shock my mother) and do things appropriately (in my long forgotten world of courtesy). So I looked out the window on my right into the back yard and thought how nice it would be to have a barbecue there. Especially at this time of day. Everything back there is amply illuminated by the sun or protected in the shade of a ligustrum.
I wanted to invite the children who live on the property. There is a young man in the early 30s in the studio I used to live in and a young woman who is only a small age and lives in the hut. We just get one of those little charcoal grills that cost practically nothing, grab a few Bubba burgers, fill a cooler with beer, and then play a little horseshoe or croquet. Nothing fabulous.
I was all ready to write a little note to put on the door: “Come see me on Sunday if you can. We will cook a little and we would be happy if you come. “
Then I started to think that children think differently these days. With such attention to social media etiquette, social graces are often forgotten.
And I was soooo ready to have a good time writing about the importance of social grace and how important it is when it comes to interacting with people …
But I didn’t have a chance. For days I dreamed of introducing ourselves through a social gathering, the news reminded me of reality.
Social gatherings are now prohibited. Especially with completely strangers. And the evil question pushed forward: “Am I being reprimanded for having more than three people in my own back yard?”
Phillip and I took the bus to my new Publix yesterday. It was his day off. I was so proud to have made the trip alone a few days earlier and wanted him to see how pleasant a trip really is. When we got on the bus, he saw all the signs that said, “Please don’t sit in this seat. Maintain social distance. “I dropped right next to him. He asked, “What if they say something?” I replied, “I will tell them that we sleep in the same bed and piss in the same bathroom. It’s all right.”
So, despite my desire to have a nice afternoon to get to know my neighbors, these delightful forces said otherwise. I couldn’t have a simple burger and beer for 4 people if I wanted to. There are at least some moral arguments … and also some legal ones.
The social graces that I join have been expanded to social distancing measures that politely separate us and do not engage. The problem, however, is that people are sociable by nature.
We need to mix. We need to all stream to the water cooler and clap. We all need be around each other at births and funerals. These are common human experiences. These are moments that everyone living or dead can understand. These moments are not tied to culture. They are bound by experiences that this kind has had for several millennia.
The majority of people don’t like separation. And that cloud of people you cling to doesn’t always come in the form of social media followers. It can be an entire metropolis or your simple community of 20 people. We are designed to be with other people so that we can exchange information, ideas, debate, reproduce, protect and survive.
I have often thought that the reason why we break into tears when we are emotionally broken is only to trigger other people’s natural instincts, to embrace, to care for and to help. We were designed with each other in the head. We should cling to each other, take care of each other and protect each other from harm.
You cannot apply to this equation nor to race nationality. Do your best, but it doesn’t work. Our nature to care for one another comes from heroes who give their own lives to save Other. So far man will go. They will sacrifice themselves so that others can survive. It tells you everything you need to know about people’s compassion for one another.
Martyrs remind us that human nature is really about someone else’s concern. It is only the fashionable pious who convince us differently, even though she learn the new rules of indignation every day. (… ..God love her).
I hear far too many cries, far too many requests for social justice through the right to aggression, through the right to war. I hear this terrible howl of attack and not a plea for defense. This evil cry that can be heard louder than any death lament that he neither wants to comfort nor nurture. It just wants to destroy, attack and destroy someone who is within earshot of their beautifully twisted message.
It wants you to stick to the message of separation, the message of revenge, the message of orderly compliance, to free the whole damned world of everything you despise or disagree with.
And that’s just not human nature. Because human nature is only suppressed when it turns into anger for support. True human nature is only suppressed if it rejects compassion and submits to anger.
I hope the Black Lives Matter thing doesn’t last long, and I’m so grateful for it because if it’s a thing I’m sure the good always wins. And you don’t stand for anything good that I can think of. Every big company has given you millions. A huge GoFundMe has just been founded by every large company that is known to humans. You’d think there would be no need for state welfare anymore.
Their methods should be studied in marketing courses across America. Damn, I think you learned that tactic there.
But I’m not going to lie. These tactics are powerful. They are really improved weapons in the war on heart and mind. (Oh look! As we speak, new marketing courses are underway to help small businesses learn how to use Black Lives Matter.)
My only defense is prayer, mindfulness, my own self-confidence and honesty.
And if I’m honest, do you know what else annoys me? I just sat down to write about a barbecue with my neighbors, and somehow you managed to kidnap it.
I’m forced to love you, but I just don’t like you and I wrote why.
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