This afternoon I went into downtown Asheville to meet an elderly couple who used to stay at my motel twice a year for many years. We shared the common pleasantries. We spoke about the passing of several family members and so on. I know he is a hardcore Trump supporter. I have no issues whatsoever with who
Supports who in politics. What I do have is an issue when it comes to lack of compassion.
He brought up the subject of Puerto Rico’s devastation and immediately went into a political commentary that sounded absolutely inhuman. This man knows I am Puerto Rican. He also knows I don’t speak about politics but that’s the thing with those who have little bits of humanitarian empathy, they don’t think before they speak. They like to hear themselves over and over repeating what they see on the news.
I sat there listening. Watching his wife get very uncomfortable. And he continued with his rant about how Puerto Rico cannot expect us to bail them out…and it’s too bad but Puerto Rico is a reckless country. He said a LOT. Too much. At that moment I reached over and put my hand on top of his hand on the table. I tapped it while saying his name. I smiled. I asked him to please stop. He did mid sentence. Several times.
I stared into his blue eyes. I shared the hardships of family members on the island. I spoke of souls in hospitals who have died without electricity. I said a lot of factual increments while he continued to interrupt me. Each time I would tap his hand. I never raised my voice. And I never mentioned our political leaders. I would not disgrace anyone regardless of what I believe when I know we aren’t on the same page.
My darlings, I don’t give a care in the world who you voted for. I don’t care what you believe to be right or wrong because of what is said in the news. However, I care deeply how you react when it comes to humanitarian issues. I care that you pause and try to understand what another is feeling. I feel deeply and to hear such hardness is heartbreaking. To witness aggression and lack of kindness is incomprehensible.
I would react exactly the same if we had been talking about Texas or Florida. This nation was created to unite not divide.
I came home disturbed. I shared with my husband how truly upsetting it all made me. Which made him livid and he was so glad he didn’t come with me. I never shouted or got angry with the gentleman. His ignorance is truly an oversight. He listens to what he wants. He believes what he hears without questioning. He is fed what millions are fed. I gave him a huge hug. I am not responsible for what anyone says. I am only responsible for how I interpret it. Usually I interpret things with sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. Today…it took a lot of inner sparkles to get me through the visit.
My heart aches for how divided we are. Empathy has no political or religious agenda. It’s called being compassionate in a world that requires love and forgiveness. Watch how you show up in our world. Raise others through love and compassion. We don’t have to agree on topics but we must be mindful of each other’s feelings. We must rise above all and not engage in the craziness. When we do we become part of the system that has gotten us in this big ole mess of discrimination, prejudice and injustice.