I was just doing the silliest thing. I was planning a little get together.
Now, it’s funny the way my mind works. I tend to be old fashioned, I tend to consider manners (so as not to appall my mother), and like to do things (in my long forgotten world of courtesies) appropriately. So, I was looking out the window to my right at the back yard and thought how lovely it would be to have a little barbecue back there. Especially at this time of day. Everything back there is lavishly lit by the sun, or sheltered in the shade of a ligustrum.
I was going to invite the kids that live on the property. There is a young man in his probable early 30’s in the studio I used to live in, and a young woman just shy of that age that lives in the cottage. We’ll just get one of this little charcoal grills that go for practically nothing, grab some Bubba Burgers, fill a cooler full of beer then play a little horseshoe or croquet. Nothing fabulous.
I was all ready to write out a little note to put on their doors, “Come by Sunday if you can. We’re going to have a little cookout and we’d love to for you to come.”
Then I started thinking that kids these days think differently. With such an attention to social media etiquette, social graces are often forgotten about.
And I was soooo ready to spend a lovely time writing about the importance of social graces and how important that is when it comes to interacting with people….
But, I didn’t get a chance to. While day dreaming about how to introduce ourselves by having a social gathering, the news reminded me of the reality.
Social gatherings are now forbidden. Especially with total strangers. And the nasty question pushed itself forward, “Will I be reprimanded for having more than three people in my own back yard?”
Phillip and I took the bus to my new Publix yesterday. It was his day off. I was so proud of having taken the trip by myself a few days before and wanted him to see how pleasant an outing it really is. When we got on the bus he saw all of these signs that say, “Please do not sit in this seat. Maintain social distance.” I plopped down right next to him. He asked, “What if they say something?” I responded, “I’ll tell them we sleep in the same bed, and piss in the same bathroom. We’re good.”
So, despite my desire to have a nice afternoon getting to know my neighbors, those delightful powers that be have said otherwise. I couldn’t hold a simple burger and beer bash for 4 people if I wanted to. There is at least some moral argument about it….and some legal ones, too.
The social graces I subscribe to have been augmented into social distancing measures that keep us politely apart rather than engaged. The problem, though, is that humans are gregarious by nature.
We need to mingle. We need to all flock to the water cooler and gossip. We all need to be around each other at births and funerals. These are shared experiences of the human. These are moments that everyone alive or dead can understand. These moments aren’t bound by culture. They’re bound by experiences this species has endured for several millennia.
The majority of humans don’t like separation from each other. And this cloud of people you cling to doesn’t always come in the form of followers on social media. It can be an entire metropolis, or your simple church community of 20. We are designed to be around other people so that we can exchange information, ideas, debate, procreate, protect and survive.
I have often thought that the reason we collapse in tears when we are emotionally broken is just to set off the natural instinct in other humans to hug, tend to, and help. We were designed with each other in mind. We were designed to cling to each other, to be watchful over each other, to shield one another from harm.
You cannot apply race to this equation, nor even nationality. Do your best, but it doesn’t work. Our inherent nature to care for one other comes from heroes who give their own lives to save others. That is how far the human will go. They will sacrifice themselves so that others may survive. That tells you everything you need to know about the level of compassion people have for each other.
Martyrs remind us that human nature is truly about the concern of someone else. It’s only the fashionably pious that convince us otherwise, while even they learn the new rules of outrage each day. (…..God love ’em).
I hear far too many cries, far too many pleas for social justice by right of aggression, by right of war. I hear this horrible howl of attack, rather than a plea for defense. This nasty scream heard louder than any death dirge doesn’t wish to console, nor care for. It wishes only to shred, to attack and to destroy anyone within earshot of it’s beautifully twisted message.
It wants you to comply with it’s message of separation, it’s message of revenge, it’s message of orderly compliance to just rid the whole damn world of everything they despise or disagree with.
And that just isn’t human nature. Because the only time human nature is suppressed is when it turns to anger for support. The only time true human nature is suppressed is when it rejects compassion and demands submission to anger.
I am hoping the Black Lives Matter cause won’t last long and I am so grateful for that, for if it is one thing I am certain of is that good always wins. And you don’t stand for any sort of good that I can think of. Every major corporation has given you millions. A giant GoFundMe was just set up by every major company known to man….you’d think there would be no more need for state welfare.
Your methods should be studied in marketing classes all across America…..wait. Damn, I guess that’s where you learned those tactics to begin with.
But, I won’t lie. Those tactics are powerful. They are truly improved weapons in the war on hearts and minds. (Oh look! New marketing classes are being organized right now, as we speak, teaching little businesses how to comply with Black Lives Matter.)
My only defense is prayer, mindfulness, my own sense of self, and being honest about it all.
And speaking of being honest, you know what else pisses me off? I sat down to write about a barbecue with my neighbors right now and somehow, you managed to hijack that, too.
I’m compelled to love you, but I just don’t like you and I’ve written why.
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