AMAZON

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How Can People…


Perhaps I am just growing old. At least I feel very old at the moment.

It’s almost 2:00 a.m. I have spent the past three hours contemplating my life and some of my oldest friends and their attitudes about other peoples.  How can people—especially people who care about strangers, who care about evil and social injustice…

I don’t have the answer. Just the questions—and this song:

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

And especially people
Who care about strangers
Who care about evil
And social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd?
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend

How can people be so heartless
You know I'm hung up on you
Easy to give in
Easy to help out

And especially people
Who care about strangers
Who say they care about social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

~ HAIR


17 comments:

  1. I am not elderly, Saintly Nick, but I have been asking the same questions. How can people who claim to care for others so easily turn their back on them.

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  2. Amen dear Reverend Amen...

    Ignorance? Fear?

    I do not know the reason why...

    But those who believe in love like you dear friend... you are the antidote...and give me such hope for the world,

    Much love,

    Maithri

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  3. Fiochra : I wish that I had recognized some of what I see now when I was much younger. Perhaps it has always been so, but I have been too blind to see it.

    Maithri : I don’t know either. Perhaps ignorance and fear touched with a bit of egocentricity.

    Thank you for you words, my friend. You can always given me hope and light in darkness.

    i beati : Old friends—old clergy friends—who I believed cared for justice and freedom and peace but who I now realize only care about such for people like themselves, not for all peoples.

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  4. Just as well there are loads of non-clergy who know all about unconditional love and friendship...

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  5. I'm sorry you are down Nick. Sounds like you are feeling this deeply. Burdens make me feel old too and today I am feeling aged.

    Prayers for you Nick.

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  6. I remember that song done by Three Dog Night, back when I was a kid. It had a lot more impact with this video.

    Hope you're okay.

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  7. I suspect, Nick, that you are much like me in this area. As I've looked back over my life, I've always felt pretty benevolent toward almost everyone, accepting them for who they are. I think I tended to assume that people I love probably shared those feelings.

    As I am aging my perspective is becoming deeper. Perhaps with retirement I have time to ponder the details. I'm finding it difficult to see how others, people about whom I care deeply and have for decades, are not as openly kind and accepting as I had thought. My acceptance of others isn't always mirrored back with similar acceptance. I'm left wondering if my unquestioning acceptance of them was incorrect or if they have actually changed. Did I project my own kind of benevolence onto everyone in my innocence?

    I don't know. But I do know how disillusioning it is to see people in a light that compromises my view of them. I've recently had self-conversations about my siblings and a couple of multiple-decades-old friendships, and my heart has become heavy. Life is not always easy, is it?

    Heart hugs, Nick, for your search. I hope you find peace in this.

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  8. It is unfortunate Nick, but many people change into these people. Dispite a persons desire to help and be good, i is darn near impossible to be saint-like, at least for most. And years of change, no change, experience and troubles can completely turn a person. And that is sad...

    sorry to hear some of your once friends are no longer friendly. Hopefully they will see the errors in their ways soon, before it is too late to change.

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  9. The inhumanity of man in some situations distresses me terribly. I just cannot understand it. :(

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  10. That song is on my list of all time favorites. And I don't know that we'll come to true justice and equality in our lifetime.

    I do have hope that our new President will lead us in that direction. But it will take our youth to keep us moving along the path to full acceptance, justice, and equality for all.

    Take heart. You believe in equality and treating others as you would have them treat you. So do I. So do a lot of people we know.

    Focus on that. Be mindful of that. Remember that when the other gets you down.

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  11. I was awakened a few about half a hour ago by a thunderstorm with high winds. I am staying awake because of my concern that, if the power goes off, I must switch my oxygen from the electric powered oxygen compressor to the huge bottle of backup oxygen.

    Jinski: You are absolutely right! There are too many problems caused by clergy of all religions who have distorted concepts of unconditional love, grace, and agape.

    Carol: Thank you. I feel at peace at the moment. I sat in meditation for 20 minutes this morning after being awakened and as the winds rattled my bedroom window.

    Jennifer: Yes, you are right. I was—in some ways still am—feeling deeply about my friend of 25 years, who was also one of my primary clergy mentors.

    Squirl: It’s a wonderful song, that impacted me when I first saw the Broadway play some 40 years ago.

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  12. Lynilu: Yes, we are very much alike. You words My acceptance of others isn't always mirrored back with similar acceptance reflect much of my own realization.

    When my long-time friend and mentor said of people of another land and culture “Why should we care about them, they are nothing like us” I was shocked. Over the years I have seen in him a kindred spirit, openly accepting of all peoples, even those “different” from us. I had believed that he had taught me universal acceptance of all humankind. Evidently I was wrong.

    You are right: life is seldom easy.

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  13. Mike Golch : Thank you.

    Xmichra : You make an interesting point: did my friend change and become more selfish and ethnocentric or has he always been that way and I didn’t recognize it. I need to think about that, since it comes from a frame of reference that I had not considered. Thank you for the insight.

    He and I remain friends—at least as far as I am concerned.

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  14. Akelamalu : Yes, me, too. It is especially hard for me to understand when the person is one who, until very recently, expressed love and concern for all humankind.

    Travis: I rather doubt that we shall come to experience true justice and equality in our lifetime. However, I learned from one of the graduates from my seminary, H. Richard Niebuhr, that I am called to live in God’s kingdom of love and justice and peace as if it is already a reality. That isn’t easy to do; however, one can work toward that Kingdom!

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