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Posts Tagged ‘friend’

I know a person.  I’ve known her all my life.  I have always thought she was a loving and fun loving, a kind person with a big heart.  She welcomes almost all friends to her door.  She has always been a bit bigoted.

She began emailing my neighbor, years ago before Facebook and all the networking sites started up.  By e-mail she became a long lost friend to my neighbor.  And, she was.  She would have done anything for my neighbor.  She used to be a friend to all.

I don’t know what has happened to her over the years, nor how her heart has filled with so much hatred.

Lately, she has taken to forwarding political apps on Facebook.  They are the cruelest, most illogical, often bigoted, bits of hatred you can find.  They are pictures reminiscent of the old time Little Black Sambo era, where watermelon was a code for race and excuse for hatred.

She is a flag-waving American and proud of it.  She is proud of this country and all that created it.  I guess that even includes “All men are created equal,” but I’m not sure she remembers that part.  She is also a Christian, and yet she seems to have forgotten the “Do unto others as you would have them do until you.”  Right now, she just spouts hate.

I did not realize how much seeing it was affecting me every day, until someone else I knew mentioned they had blocked or removed her because they were tired of it.

Today, I blocked this “dear” person.  I don’t mean to abandon her, if she is slipping.  I don’t mean to offend her.  I just cannot take it anymore and today, when I checked my Facebook and all that was on was teenagers writing poems and pictures of little children from relatives, not someone using the word Stupider to show how bright Sarah Palin is, I was happy again.  I no longer had to see her spouting a belief that I will never agree with, no matter how much she tries to cram it down my throat.

You cannot force someone else to believe in your religion by sending four apps a day of “the daily picture of Jesus” or whatever else they have, and you cannot change their politics by belittling the political leaders that they believe in.  It is insulting and only stirs up bile.  If you wish to blog your beliefs, that is fine.  I can choose to read or not read your blog.  But, there should be different rules on a site like Facebook.  There should be a rule for being civil and not cruel.  There should be respect for other people’s beliefs, without trying to cram your own down their throat.

Let’s get back to a little bit of civility.

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We were playing dominoes last night, about the only game they can get me to join them at the game table, and there was a light knock on the door. I think it startled all of us because we had not heard neither a car pull in, nor footsteps on the wooden porch, nor the screen door open and shut. Irritating Little Chihuahua had not even barked.

It was a dear old friend. A Viet Nam vet who grew up in my husband’s neighborhood and has become a best friend to me too.

For many years, the three of us were like the three musketeers. We spent evenings together; at our home, or at his home, at the pizza parlor, movies, or mutual friend’s homes. We built decks together, got drunk together, and mainly just spent a lot of hours in each other’s company, talking. We lost touch when we moved to Wyoming. Now, we live about four hours away and here he was, knocking on our door.

He loved history, and enlisted for Viet Nam. He said he “wanted to be a part of history.” He got more than he bargained for, and has three purple hearts and his own demons. He is a rather slightly built fellow and was a natural to go into the tunnels. I will not tell his story here. He is still dealing with it, but he wanted to pay us back for what he perceived as a favor we did for him long ago. At the time and still, I called it ‘helping a friend.’ What did we do? We forced him to go into Chicago with us to see the traveling ‘Wall.’ A simple thing, but what he needed.

Now, with two grandsons in the Army, I hope they have friends who will help them also. They will all need friends, who do simple things for them, who will listen to them and then, as we did, perhaps go to see what is the right thing to do at a Vet center, and be there for them.

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