Pettiness is a luxury we cannot afford to indulge in. There is too much to do that is of real import. Small, everyday things that are radical and profound despite their smallness. We need to hold a hand, smile at a stranger. Say “Hello” and “How are you today?” and really want to know the answer. We need to teach our children to speak gently to each other, to apologize for wrongs. We need to perform everyday acts of love.
Life is too precious to squander even a passing thought on whether a designer ought to accept or refuse the commission of creating a dress for the new First Lady; or to be offended by what an actor said at the close of a performance. Our world has become so vast that we too often fail to see the one right in our own homes. And it is dying for lack of care. And if the family dies, so goes the world.
When we do pay attention to things outside our own circles, we must listen with our whole hearts and minds, we must look through the eyes of love and mercy. We must try to understand the sentiment and the true meaning of people’s words. We must not instantly react because reacting before consideration leads us nowhere. It doesn’t advance our understanding of each other. It leads to two people (or two groups) reacting to each other – reacting to the other person’s reactions. And that is a waste of time and energy that is much better spent giving hope, making peace, spreading joy, and loving.
Let this be our mantra: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love. Next Sunday is the first in the season of Advent. It is a time of reflection and renewal as we prepare to welcome the Christ Child. May we recognize Him and serve Him in the least of His people. The Poor, The Lonely, The Lost, The Sick.