I was at my father’s house last night, he and I were talking. He said, and I paraphrase, “The question of whether evil exists has been central to theology for over 1000 years.” I promise, this was a logical remark, given our conversation.
My immediate reaction. “Then since we can’t know about evil, we’ve got to try to be as civil and amiable as we can.” A series of images went through my head — a full day of Kind and Polite. Smiling at the checkout clerk and letting them know that yes, indeed, you did find everything you were looking for.
A very Sturdy reaction to the question of evil.
Somehow I felt my conversation with Dad dovetailed with ideas I’d been considering for today. Although I never start writing the Saturday post until Saturday morning, I do think about it during the week.
I’m guessing most of you read Janet’s blog, The Gardener’s Cottage? Recently she asked her readers, “How are you doing?” She may have broken Blogger trying to respond to the scores of comments. How kind and civil is that? Beyond the expectations of her technology platform, certainly.
I remember when Faux Fuchsia asked her readers where they were from and how old they were. So many answers, so many replies.
Then last week so many of you wished me and my husband a happy anniversary. Thank you. Observing rituals and civilities.
None of these events involved formality or protocol. I do not yearn for the days of stockings and white gloves. But, if we can’t know about evil, I think we can know about how not to be a jerk.
Stepping back, I see two things in these few blog moments. First, someone asks someone else about themselves. I am a blurter and have a hard time remembering to listen, to ask real questions of other people so they can be heard. It’s important. Second, the grace of small celebrations. It may a small thing to tell someone, ” Thank you,” or, “Get well soon,” or, “Happy anniversary!” But as you all remind me, the effect of the action is far more than the effort.
In that vein, I wanted to ask, if you have a chance today, please comment on a blog post you enjoy or admire. And I do not mean mine, 100% feel free to read and exit silently. But surely someone else out there is writing by themselves and wondering, “Does anyone care?” Or they are dealing with controversy, or mean remarks, or ennui.
Or they are quietly, and persistently, being not a jerk.
A comment will feel really wonderful. This I know. Thank you all again, ever so much.