” Judge not, that ye be not judged, For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
Some people will always see the worst in a situation. How you look at things is a mirror to your soul.
Well, my day brought me to the pharmacy which found me waiting on line for my medicine. There was a woman in front of me who had a young boy. He went off in the store and returned with a toy monkey. The woman then sent him to find a card for somebody to accompany the gift. Since it is my habit to be nice to people I commented something on the monkey. The monkey, in turn, reminded me of a joke.
So I told that to the woman and I asked “Would you like to hear the ‘Native American’ joke. Right away the woman went in a little tiff about how she never made fun of people. Now let me stop things right there.
The joke wasn’t something demeaning towards Native Americans but rather it was a joke that is told by Native Americans. The joke involves a monkey so that is what came into mind when the boy brought the monkey. The woman hearing my words automatically assumed the worst. If she was a little bit astute she shouldn’t have thought that as I never used the derogatory term ‘Indian’ as my careful choice of language used ‘Native American.’
There is a saying a thief always sees a thief. It leads me to believe that this woman had something wrong inside of her. Even after I told her the joke wasn’t demeaning she still had some attitude. Sometimes our best efforts to be nice and neighborly are met with harsh rebuke. This woman assumed the worst.
So much of the world’s view of mental illness is distorted. This despite that the so many people are afflicted by one way or the other. In fact, if the trend continues in our society there will be more people diagnosed with some kind of psychological disorder then with it. The bottom line is that there is something fundamentally wrong with all of us. What we accept as normal is in the views of other societies quite abnormal. For example, the materialism that we possess would be viewed by the Native Americans as an extreme negative. Which brings us full circle doesn’t ‘t it?
There is a failing in America where lying has become an accepted thing. I find an honest person to be rarer than a liar. I worked for an engineering company and I found them using the eraser on a pencil and writing in some satisfactory number so things would work out well. When we went surveying we always ‘worked through’ lunch when in fact we never did. In the news is the testimony of Michael Cohen. It seems that the Republicans want to present him as a liar and the Democrats as somebody honest. I dismiss this as pure hypocrisy. When Clinton was having his little sex scandal with Monica it seemed that the Republicans were indignant about the abuse. Yet when Bret Kavanaugh was going through his ordeal before Congress the attitude of the two parties had reversed.
So where is this all leading us? John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I can understand why this woman I briefly met was looking for the worst in everything or at least inside of my joke. From the president down to the little kid cheating on his test our society is saturated with malevolence and dishonesty. My only solution is to by example present some alternative. I am sure I will quickly forget this woman and probably not offer to tell the “Native American Joke” again. She will be relegated on the waste heap of people I just never wished I encountered. When one tries to be friendly and helpful that pile gets extremely large. However, on a positive note, most people appreciate the effort of being friendly.
A final observation. I used to protest the war here locally in Montclair. As an ambassador of goodwill, I would say hello to everybody that passed by. I noticed that the young ladies were less likely to say hello unless they witnessed me saying hello to the person before them.
Please check out my book of poetry “Letting It Go” a book of poetic observations. https://amzn.to/2pIHtvp