Tonight's post was going to be about respect. Respect for people. Respect for our world. Respect for another person's piece of it.
And yet somehow, going off on a rant about my dumb-ass neighbours who let their giant dogs run willy-nilly all over the neighbourhood, peeing all over everyones shrubs doesn't seem right.
It doesn't seem right when in a small town in America, a man was shot six times and it is not called murder. Where the people of this town are living in a police state with a curfew in place and folks are getting tear-gassed and arrested for peacefully protesting.
My dog issues are nothing compared to the fact that in Gaza tonight, even the animals at the zoo are not safe from the crossfire of the Israel-Hamas conflict and the cease-fire deadline is approaching with no clear resolution in sight.
When a whole country is essentially on lock-down because of an Ebola epidemic, my privileged little first world problems becoming glaringly apparent as such and petty.
So, no, I won't get on my "be a responsible dog owner/neighbour" soap box tonight.
But I will say something about respect.
It's a common conversation in and around our house right now (and always). Respect for ourselves and how we talk about ourselves, respect for our possessions and the home that we have built for our family, and respect for others, in how we speak to them and about them and how we want to be spoken to as well. We talk about how we can be more respectful to Mother Earth and my kids are big into recycling, not wasting energy or water and thanks to the Kratt brothers, are all up to date on animal conservation as well. The concept and application of respect is truly a daily topic in our house. As it should be.
I came across this quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower and it seems to fit tonight.
"This world of ours...
must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead,
a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect."
The problem as I see it right now, is that in this world of ours, the pendulum has swung so far over to the fear and hate side of things, that we can't figure out how to get back to the mutual trust and respect side.
I don't know how exactly to swing that pendulum back, but I'll start small. At home, and in my neighbourhood, and in my communities both online and off. I will listen, I will speak with respect, I will not let hate into my mind or my heart and I will teach and model this behaviour for my children. Maybe if we all started small, we would eventually overpower all of that fear and drown out the hate.