Identifying Marks

I would like to take a moment to share with you a few thoughts on today, the events of this week, and life in general. Today was a glorious New England day, replete with blue skies, bright sunshine, cool temperatures, and low humidity. You could ask for a better day but I doubt that you would get it.

What made this day a superlative, in my opinion, was my midmorning walk to my New Favorite Place (NFP); I was not disappointed. I met several delightful people of all ages, a precocious young man of about five or six veraciously consuming a chocolate muffin while sitting with his mother, several polite and efficient waitstaff, and multiple clientele from all lifestyles; none of them had an identifying mark on their forehead indicating their political persuasion. Yet all were pleasant and accommodating, especially when faced with older gentleman with a crooked smile.

When I left my NFP I walked to the corner Bank for a role of quarters, my laundry still will not wash itself and certainly not free of charge, I was cheerfully greeted by a pleasant woman behind the counter wearing a hijab. I greeted her with “As-salāmu ʿalaykum” and she responded with “Wa alaykumu as-salam.” The look on her face was worth the effort it had taken me to learn that traditional Muslim greeting, respect and validation for a person and their culture will have that effect, I have found. This woman also had no political identification on her face to indicate whether she was a conservative, a liberal, or with which political Party she was aligned.

Reaching the talking Pedestrian Light I met another sort of person, this one identified herself as an inconsiderate, self-centered woman whose strong suit, if she was possessed of one at all, was lack of thought for others. Despite observing me standing next to pedestrian light, she none-the-less stopped her vehicle directly in front of my path across the road. When the talking light pole told me to walk I dutifully complied and walking directly up to her driver’s side door I said, “Do you feel like an asshole yet?” I proceeded to walk the length of her vehicle, around the front, and never once did an identifying mark appear on her person that identified her as anything other than an inconsiderate motor vehicle driver. I have crossed paths with many. I continued on my merry way.

My point, which I hope is all too obvious, is that you can only identify a person by their behavior, not their age, or what clothing they wear. Consideration and a smile will go a long way in reconciling our differences, lack of the same, support for hurtful legislation, or the spewing of vitriol will only make things worse.

The Alexandria shooter had to ask if the ballplayers were Republicans or Democrats because he could not tell by looking at them. This indicates to me that he was shooting at an ideology and those he believed support it. Just food for thought.

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