Sunday, November 12, 2006

Reality shows

The other day, David Byrne wrote his thoughts on the recent election and on the state of society in general. This was not so much a victory for Democrats or Liberals, but more a defeat over arrogance and mean-spiritedness.

After my son died, I spent close to a full year in "zombie-mode," functioning without really functioning. Little by little I began to wonder about the other walking wounded out there. The woman who stepped in front of us in line at the supermarket, or the guy who cut us off in his car-- who knows what's going on in their lives. Did she just lose her job? Was he returning from the doctor's office where he was given a terminal diagnosis? I'm sure that I too unwittingly did and said some lousy things both to strangers and people I care about.

Before reacting with anger, I now try to show compassion. I try to understand that not everybody is bad, or mean, or selfish. Humans basically want one thing--to be happy. That includes too the people with whom we disagree. Rather than judge, it's better to listen and try to understand the other side.
Plus, it's a helluva lot more interesting than TV.

On the turntable: Steve Reich, Tehillim"

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