Every time I turn around in the last few months, I hear hateful diatribes about perceived enemies. People are very busy hating Muslims, immigrants, African-Americans, women, gays, police, Mexicans, people who support a different political candidate. It just goes on and on, hate building on fear, leading to unkindness, disrespect, and violence. A neighbor asked me this morning, "When did Americans become so hateful?"
Well, the truth is; mostly we're not. The hate and anger so incited by some politicians and people in the media exists and it does need to be very seriously addressed. But meanwhile, in real life, most people continue to be decent, kind and supportive of each other.
Case in point: Last week, I and the drivers of 3 other cars were forced off the freeway to avoid being hit by a gentleman who had lost consciousness on the road. We all skidded onto the verge, called 911, and assessed ourselves. Because of the situation, we were together for a couple of hours and joined by 2 police officers, and 3 EMTs.
Our random little cluster of folks included half men and half women, various age groups, a gay man (he called his husband), 5 distinctly different ethnicities, and at least 3 different religions (prayers were said). Everyone was kind, supportive, and concerned for each other. The police were polite and solicitous to all, the EMTs were professional and quick, but also caring.
At the end of our adventure, we shook hands. Some business cards were exchanged. The African-American gentleman and I promised to say hi when we see each other at the gym we discovered we both belong to. We were all luckily healthy (though bruised up some) and able to drive our cars away. We were all grateful that it hadn't been worse.
That was reality. That was humanity. The news can be horrendous these days; but let's hold on to some perspective.