In the last 48 hours, I’ve heard the word vitriolic mentioned probably more times than I have in the last year. The news media keep mentioning the vitriolic political atmosphere in the US (and particularly Arizona).
Why are Americans so angry with each other? Why such hatred?
Is this what happens when an apparently blessed nation forgets to count those blessings, and instead focuses on the things it doesn’t have? (C’mon guys, it’s only been a few weeks since Thanksgiving.)
Or is this merely the perception of an outsider, who can easily recognise the speck in his neighbour’s eye, but fail to recognise the 2-by-4 post in his own?
I got to musing this week about the Five Rules for Happiness that I posted a while ago. It occurred to me that, while admirable, they are very general platitudes, and therefore easy to argue away.
So I thought I’d make them a little more specific, to make it easier to identify when I have (or haven’t) applied them.
An appropriate thing to do on the eve of a New Year.
1. Seek to develop a relationship with someone you would ordinarily avoid. What kind or person makes you uncomfortable or fidgety? For no rational reason? This year, identify someone with those characteristics, and go out of your way to find out how they think, what makes them tick, why they do what they do. You will surely gain an education, and possibly even a new friend.
OK, these are not my invention. I’m not even sure who came up with them. I got them from my brother’s colleague, but I don’t think he penned them. (If you do know their origin, please post a comment; I’d like to give credit where credit is due.) All I know is, these rules are good, and they are true. Here they are:
Free your heart from hatred.
Free your mind from worry.
What’s cool about these “rules” is they will work for anyone, any faith (or none), any nationality or language. Ican’t think of anyone whose life wouldn’t be better off without these.