Thursday, August 27, 2015

Be Kind

Occasionally there is one of the CSM homilies that inspires me. I particularly liked this one because I've made an effort to be less of an asshole both on and off-line.

You could say that a large part of current culture is built around poking fun at others. Sure, social commentary and lighthearted joking have their place. A comedian impersonates the mannerisms of a famous politician or celebrity; a father teases a son or daughter about his or her golf score. Laughter ensues. Some of this is meant in good fun. 

There is, however, a darker kind of humor that often plays off of the insecurities of others – think YouTube videos of “epic fails,” videos mocking those who are attempting to display a talent. And then there are those nasty online comments. While it can sometimes seem that acerbic wit and biting remarks have become the norm, most of us remain uncomfortable with deriving pleasure from the misfortunes and embarrassment of others. That’s a good thing, because mockery or ridicule, even if it is meant in fun, can be very hurtful.

Personally, I like the "throwing the money-changers out of the temple Jesus."

I’ve found it so useful to follow Christ Jesus as the ultimate example when I’m looking to see how to model my own thoughts and behavior. Jesus’ words were never designed to injure or condemn. Jesus was bold at times and didn’t mince words, but he saw people for who they were, as spiritual, whole, the reflection of divine Love, and this brought transformation to countless lives. Jesus showed us that, as God’s reflection, we are each empowered by God’s own goodness and it’s natural to express this good. 

So boldness is cool. 

Anything that clouds our perceptions of others and prevents us from discerning and celebrating the beauty, artistry, creativity, intelligence, and joy that are God-given should not be given a mental home.

Now, does all this mean we need to be bland, humorless, and apt to enjoy only a cornier brand of humor? Or that we become stoic and unable to understand nuance in comedy? I don’t think so. 

But it does mean that we can go forward with a greater alertness in recognizing that mockery does not need to hold a cherished place in our society. Examples of rejecting the “mean” in favor of the good are cropping up. Let’s water those seedlings and let them grow. 

Snarky without being cruel. It's a fine line we bloggers walk.

Chas. Pierce shows how it's done.

When the ratfking stops because it has turned into rat-necrophilia, which is icky and which we don't allow here in the shebeen, it really is time for Big Chicken to decide to spend more time with his family.

Big Chicken is totally a term of affection. Who doesn't like chicken?

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