On my way to visit one of the middle schools I’ve been working with, I passed a church with the words “Love Extravagantly” posted on its Welcome sign. “What an admirable sentiment,” I thought, but how does such a sentiment fare in our world today packed as it is with so much coarseness in our daily interactions?
For instance, on the same trip from my home that day, I was driving down a winding country road doing 50, though the posted speed was 45. Still, I had a long line of cars following me, and when an opportunity to pass me came along, a car way at the back made its move. Speeding past at 70 at least, the car’s driver honked at me and gave me the universal sign of displeasure.
I wish that incidents such as this happened rarely, but the truth is they don’t. In the supermarket, I hear a woman my age cursing out loud because she can’t find the “g.d. yeast. Why’d they have to move the expletive, expletive stuff?” This language with children in the aisle! I gave her my “teacher look” but she just said, “What are YOU looking at?” Unwilling to engage in a confrontation, I simply turned away.
Do I live in a particularly harsh part of the good old U.S.A.? I don’t think so. There is just so much anger out there. Is this the culture we live in now? What if we all thought of loving extravagantly? What if we all lived in a spirit of forgiveness? What if we all followed the Golden Rule?
I’m going to try to do better myself in my one small corner of the world.