lundi, août 15, 2011
Random Acts of Unkindness
"I'm not perfect, just forgiven." She's a CHRISTIAN -- and she wants you to know.
Just stop off at the next church, kneel down, and become one too. It's easy.
"If prayer worked, 911 would be a church hotline." He's an ATHEIST -- got it, babe?
"Practice compassion." He's....well, he's hard to pin down, but nice to have around when visiting grandma.
"Be the change." She's got that activist vibe going on. But don't worry, she usually doesn't practice.
"My child is an honorable student." The woman in that SUV? She's an achievement-prone parent. She'll be nice to you unless you drive the speed limit.
American culture is littered with bumper-sticker slogans and phrases. They are everywhere -- in advertisements, on social media sites, on the backs of cars, on doctor's walls and physical therapy offices.
Bumper stickers are identifiers -- telling readers (particularly those stuck behind them in traffic) that a person cares enough to make a public statement of faith, or wants to get you thinking, or just wants to piss you off.
When I survey the American landscape, I see the potential for many of us to make the simple choice -- the slogan instead of the behavior.
Are these Christians actually forgiving others?
Is the "activist" helping out in a soup kitchen?
Does our parent model honor at her workplace?
And what, exactly, is compassion if it is not practiced in one-on-one relationships, in social justice activism, in making choices about where to spend (or not spend) your money?
With the advent of the self-help movements of the 20th-century, many of us started to believe that change, change for the good, was possible.
But it's not easy. It has never been easy. And it's not all about our good -- change is about the common good.
As a granddaughter of an activist grandmother, I deeply believe in the power of nonviolent social change.
And I feel bothered that I don't do more to make the world just a little bit kinder, fairer, gentler. Even this crazy busy life has room to engage more.
I've got lots of work to do in that arena -- so if you see me with a bumper sticker slogan, feel free to call me on it.
Unless it's the one I've always wanted -- 'Lead me not into temptation. I can get there by myself."