18 weeks = 4.5 months= 126 days, feels like 2 years.
I started writing this blog about my feelings, my activities and my distress, but quickly realized how shallow that would be in light of world events.
So I would like to turn my attention to mankind and share a small offering of love.
This morning I read a New York Times headline stating that although the European Union was handling some things very well, the pandemic and the resulting economic devastation, they have also seen a rise in support for autocratic rulers. It seems every few generations, when times seem particularly challenging, some portion of society is willing to turn their support to an “omnipotent” leader who claims he (and it’s always a he) can bring their country back to prosperity single handedly, usually with overt infringement on human rights and by demonizing an underrepresented portion of society.
Then I began to read articles from the Christian Science Monitor, August 3, 2020, which covers the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage (1920-2020). The first article discusses the qualities often (but not exclusively) expressed by women leaders which led to their success: empathy and compassion.
Notice the juxtaposition between the two news articles? This led me to question why, during times of great unrest, mankind tends to lean towards the promise of total control in exchange for individual rights? And yet, time and time again, history has proven that consensus, compassion, and empathy make for the most successful rulers and the most secure and content constituents. So, why?
Misogyny. Misogyny can be not only hatred of women but hatred of the qualities considered feminine: kindness, gentleness, patience, love, empathy, compassion, etc. Misogyny is often explicit, sometimes brutal, but the more pernicious form is that which is subtle, perhaps even subconscious. To believe that expressing kindness shows weakness is misogyny. Believing that violence is more effective than compassion is misogyny. Asserting that empathy has no place in governance is misogyny.
How can we alter this septic thought? By proving love to be the master of hate. I have an example of overcoming hatred and aggressive behavior with the omnipotence of gentle love.
Our family began a walk in the Colorado foothills. At the trail head there was a very large sign stating that no dogs were allowed on the trail in order to protect the delicate environment including both flora and fauna.
As we were walking, we noticed two men some distance behind us walking their dog. Our daughter-in-law, who is a small, soft-spoken naturalist and heartfelt-defender of wildlife, felt it was right to bring to their attention the rules of the trail. One of the men, who was quite large and muscular, instantly took offense and became extremely belligerent, aggressive, and threatening. She reiterated the rule but did not engage in him in confrontation. The two men and the dog continued walking the trail ahead of us.
We were completely flummoxed by the men’s behavior. However, my husband calmly mentioned that this was not real nature of man. He affirmed that the real nature of man was kindness, respect, and compassion.
Within a few minutes the two men and the dog turned around and as they approached us one quietly said, “You are right.” They returned to their car and left.
Love is the master of hate. Love is the nature of both male and female.
Being “Phototraveler,” here are a few photos from that hike in Colorado.