December 25, 2015 – It is a warm sunny morning. The air is thick with the past two days of heavy rains and more to come, but it feels like spring more than winter. A couple of cups of coffee but I’m anxious to get outside.
This is the quiet day. At least the quiet morning where everyone is inside enjoying their Christmas and the roads are clear.
To my surprise, there are others, who I guess are on their way to grandma’s house. Still this is the quietest morning of the year. No big trucks or leaf blowers or chain saws or jack hammers.
As I start my weave through the sleepy neighborhood I pass a few people walking their dogs or just out for an early morning hike in this remarkable weather.
On this one day, like no other, people are smiling and seemingly in a happy mode. Everyone nods and says “Good Morning” or “Merry Christmas”. Why can’t everyday be like this?
I slowly coast through streets I had not visited in awhile to see the changes. A new tin roof over here, a new fence over there, and addition and a complete new house built in a well-established neighborhood.
There must have been a war of balloons as the remains of the defeated lie all over the lawns. I pass the victors, Mickey Mouse, Snowman, M&M Peanut guy, and a giant Reindeer, standing proudly in another yard. I move quickly pass for this scares me.
A few strays dogs and cats wander about and the birds beckon for me to come home.
But the idea of this story is what started last night.
Christmas eve, rocking on a darken porch with a break from the rain and the last minute shoppers are home and wrapping packages. Not as many decorations out this year yet down the block someone decides to fire off some fireworks. Fireworks for Christmas?
Well as the story goes, one of my neighbors walking his dog and his munchkins sees me on the porch and says, “Merry Christmas”. Then he turns to his kids who are not as tall as the fence and ask them to say, “Merry Christmas”. I do my best Santa interpretation of “Ho Ho Ho” as they walk by.
One of the boys says, “Are you alone?” then he and the other boy start asking his dad “Is he alone?” and “He is all alone?” Their father scolding them said, “Don’t be disrespectful.”
That caught me off guard.
“Respect” is not a word I’ve heard much recently. I don’t think the kids were being disrespectful because they don’t know what Christmas is like being alone. They are not old enough to comprehend people who are not gathered around the Christmas tree with family and presents and warm cheer, but there are those of us who are not.
“Respect is a positive feeling of admiration or deference for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected.” Wikipedia.
Now I remember a time when we were to respect our elders for their longer time of being around so they were smarter than us. Just being older does not make you wiser. Some of the most admirable people who we quote in our memes left us too early.
My thought about this word was do we respect each other?
From looking at comments on news sites and social media, we may have lost this human emotion. What I read are rude and sometimes disgusting disrespectful slams at each other’s thoughts, opinions, biases and ideologies.
It seems this action/reaction is like slapping each other in the face. First you slap me and then I slap you and then you slap me and then I slap you harder and you slap me harder and I slap you twice and you slap me twice and I make a fist and punch you and you make a fist and punch me and I punch you harder and you punch me back and I get a stick and hit you and you get a stick and hit me and I get a bigger stick and hit you and you get a bigger stick and hit me and I get a gun. Then it is over.
War has no solution.
So my New Year’s resolution will be ‘respect’. Respect others; not so much for their wealth or worldly possessions but simply that they share our travels on this small spinning planet. Together we have created many wonders and some overwhelming disasters, but we keep trying. Whether we believe the same or vote the same or even look the same, we should have the respect that we all share the same air, drink the same water, walk the same roads into tomorrow.
Home alone for Christmas thoughts.