Saturday, July 8, 2017

  Yesterday, I had lunch with a darling friend. She is beautiful, caring, thoughtful, kind, interested in others and humble. She told me about her sister, one year older, who is the opposite. She said her sister always turns the conversation to herself, she demeans her husband, brags non-stop, takes over any situation and makes herself the heroine, and then brags about that. How can two people from the same family be so different? It seems to be so prevalent. I don’t know the answer, but I do know that it is true in my own family. When my friend described her sister as beautiful, very successful, I couldn’t help but think of a few people like this I know. How can you have all that going for you and be so insecure you have to demean others and brag to feel good about yourself? 

     By now, my readers know that I have absolutely no tolerance for this behavior. I find it narcissistic and despicable. It is modeled in politicians, actors, athletes and in many competitive circles, but it’s certainly not what we want our children to emulate. 

     Humility is #1 in my book. Kindness is praiseworthy. Empathy is crucially needed in this country. So who models this behavior? Do we see it on TV? Do we hear it in song? Do we model it ourselves? Maybe we’re all so busy climbing the success ladder that we forget the most important character qualities along the way. I sure hope not.

     When I look for heroes and heroines, I think of such people as Ghandi, Maya Angelou, Dali Lama, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa—people who spread love, not hate. These are people who have suffered but preach(ed) forgiveness, humility and empathy. With all the progress we have made over the past century, why are we still breathing hate, even in our own families? I don’t get it.