I began my blog earlier this week; however in my attempt to be empathetic, I changed it. Robert Fulghum first published his book with the same title of the poem in 1988, which sold over 7 million copies and was two years on the New York Times best sellers’ list. As I reread this minister’s wise words, I thought about this week and wondered.
I wondered how America has grown so angry. I wondered is it COVID? Have we always a smoldering hate for those of a different race, for the disabled, for the sick, for the elderly?
Granted, there were times I refused to share my new box of 64 Crayolas with my baby sister. I hit my younger brother in the back seat of the car, until he grew a lot stronger than me. And if my mom was alive, she’d say my room was always a mess; but she’d also say I knew how to apologize. Lord knows, I say I’m sorry at least once a day. Certainly in our COVID world I wash my hands incessantly, and I flush!
Finally, I’ve strived to play fair with my income tax filings, my pack of dogs, and with my children. In my volunteer work, I listened to both sides of a debate and sought consensus. In my 50-year career in education, on occasion, I’ve been vilified by the media, but English teachers, like me, take criticism–goes with the proverbial territory. I don’t lash out and spew vile retorts.
Given the turn of events with COVID, with anger and hate, with mocking, with defying mask requirements, and with devastating violence, my empathy rests with those who learned nothing in kindergarten.