Thursday, March 9, 2017

You are a night flower

When I was a kid, it was unthinkable to avoid someone on the sidewalk, and downright rude to look away upon meeting, and not at least give a friendly, courteous nod. In the street, assuming we were moving slowly enough, we nodded and often waved at oncoming drivers. Usually, when someone drove by our house, they waved. If we drove by theirs, we waved. It was nothing dramatic, just a friendly acknowledgment that we each knew the other was there, and therefore deserved respect. To this day, I hold the door open for people, whatever their sex, age, language, country of origin, or apparent political or religious persuasion. I exchange pleasantries, I say thank you, and I offer a sympathetic ear. I expect nothing in return for this behavior. I do it because it is the natural, decent thing to do. Some time back I mentioned that this is my revolution. Day to day, I see firsthand that it has a positive effect in the world. I also see that I am not alone in this revelation — revolution, revelation, it’s amazing how similar those words are — and it is quite plain to me that we would have destroyed ourselves long ago if not for the untold number who carry on as I do, this relentless campaign of courtesy. You are one of that number, and if not, very soon, you will be. Perhaps you are a night flower, blooming cautiously, opening yourself to the nonjudgmental stars, loving your dog, shining your shoes, thinking, thinking, what if, what if I, what if we all . . .

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