Memorial Day Musings

Memorial Day began after the Civil War. Did you know that?  It’s a holiday meant to honor the soldiers who can’t hear our tributes any more; the ones who died in service to our country.  Of course, we also honor those who made it home alive, and their families, and the ones currently serving.  But really, this one is about the ones we’ve lost.

So, there should be some solemnity mixed with the barbeque.

Thus I’m ok with feeling a little reflective after an emotional and wonderful week.  I had my heart shredded (twice) by the wonderful touring production of War Horse.  Check out a review from a friend here.  I’m finding it hard to describe why the play moved me so much, and I’m also wrestling with the fact that there are probably some who didn’t care for it.  I guess that just proves we’re all different.

I had a lovely visit with my brother, sister-in-law and soon-to-be niece, and enjoyed how, even though we work in different jobs, we all express the same need to make things work better, and the frustrations when we can’t.  We enjoyed some nature, cooked some fresh Farmer’s Market food, and saw some art.  Living far apart means that on the rare occasions that I do see my family, we have to pack a lot into a short time, and I wish we had more time to just, well, hang out.  We could get to know each other in normal life, not vacation life.   I wonder if we’d laugh, argue or just sit quietly more…it’s hard to know.

And for the record, I finally have a couple of photos of the three of us…which until now have not existed.  I’m all set for Siblings Day next year.  Here’s my favorite:

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Overlying all of this activity and fun was/is some suspense related to a potential new job, and I feel I’ve done an admirable job of not letting the wondering gnaw at me.  Yeah, so I checked email 10 times a day…at least it wasn’t 20.

And underlying everything was/is some philosophical pondering stemming from an email incident that occurred last week.  Email incident.  What a term.  Yet it’s actually a thing that happens these days.

The bare bones of the incident is that someone I don’t know, in response to a politically charged email, hit the dreaded reply all and proclaimed that all people of my political persuasion are more or less clueless idiots.  I paraphrase, but you get the point.  It brought to mind this excellent blog post that went viral (as well it should have) back during the election in fall 2012.  Basically this post, and her follow up post, say the following (paraphrased again):

When you make blanket statements about politics, you are talking about REAL PEOPLE, many of whom are smart, politically aware and intellectually curious, and many of whom might just believe differently from you.

I know that the person who insulted me and those who believe as I do didn’t do it on purpose.  He thought he was talking to friends.  But it reminds me that we should judge ourselves by how we talk when we talk with our friends.  If we are mean, snarky or cruel when in the relative safety of those who believe as we do, what does that say about us?  I’m not advocating not expressing opinions. But we have to work to resist the easy jab.  We won’t always succeed.  But we have to try.  We owe it to those whom we honor today. They fought and died to give us the right to vent as much as our comfortable lives allow; we should use their gift with respect.

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