Reserve The Grrrr
Let anger be guarded against. If it cannot, however, be averted, let it be kept within bounds. For indignation is a terrible incentive to sin. It disorders the mind to such an extent as to leave no room for reason. The first thing, therefore, to aim at, if possible, is to make tranquility of character our natural disposition by constant practice, by desire for better things, by fixed determination. (The Duties of the Clergy, Book One, Saint Ambrose, x-ref Cicero De officiis).
A lot of people are angry. This trend toward anger and indignation has been going on a while now at least 10 years by my count.
How do we pull back from this pitiful state of social communication?
Have I been infected too? Yes, duh, more specifically, do I have full on flu or the sniffles?
Listen to Myself
Maybe we start there.
Example, I went to confession on Saturday. ‘Father, I find myself cursing a lot lately and not in public and only at home in front of the TV at the newsman.’
Getting caught up in the trivial offenses is likely the most obvious and easiest to fix. President Donald Trump and Congresswoman Maxine Waters say a lot of cringe worthy stuff.
They make a lot of stomach turning, ear splitting, and nails-across-the-chalk-board comments. Oh, and stupid too.
I resolve to identify the trivial and sift them out. I resolve to Reserve The Grrrr for more substantial comments and actions.
This one is getting out of control. I didn’t expect this but now news anchors from the same stations at the same time attacking each other. Yikes!
Recently, Chris Matthews and Craig Melvin going at it sabers in hand. Chris was foaming at the mouth and Craig was like WTH?
Fox News & Friends & Apologists and Co-conspirators? My God. They would eat each other’s liver if they could.
The guests? I believe Mayor Giuliani attempted to show off an extracted beating heart from an enemy of the State to prove his loyalty.
I think Sean Hannity stopped him only because Tucker Carlson got first dibs. Seems he is a steak and potatoes guy.
Name calling, over talking, the mandatory ‘gotcha question’ and ignoring questions with rehearsed verbal onslaughts are not worth the emotional response except perhaps laughter.
I Reserve The Grrrr for the factual, incivility while annoying is not allow provoking me to an emotional response.
Elections have consequences
When you think about it a good portion of what is being done is nothing more than the result of an election.
Really it’s best to know the difference between election consequences because people wanted certain changes and yet changes have come that people did not vote for nor intended to vote for.
I Reserve The Grrrr for those items that I believe people who voted Trumplican did not actually want that as part of the deal. An example: Encouraging Bavarian nationalism regards our German Ally. I picked one example because it is tiring to go through the list.
If a news anchor evidently lacks civics education. Disregard them. Ditto history.
I Reserve The Grrrr for actually informed citizen newspersons.
Side story. Once during a family gathering (a non-blood relation, thankfully, and I needed to add that) a relation told me ‘We didn’t give slavery a chance. In most cases the slaves were well treated and lived a carefree life on the plantations.’ Yep he really said that. When I mentioned the inconvenient fact that slaves often starved during periods of drought so that the cash crops could continue to be harvested he went off to get dip for the chip. Ireland or Georgia, same story but it did not compute in his romanticizing the past. John Jakes fan, I suppose. Gone the brain with the wind indeed!
Concepts and Values
A mental inventory of what is important to me and should be for you too.
What are my core values? Do I still hold true genuine implementation of the constitution and its amendments?
Am I sure I know what those are? Are they aspirational values, practiced values or merely theoretical values to me?
Historical context is important here. Is the speaker invoking inane and/or rarely held historical opinion and facts?
General understanding of the causes of the Great Depression, WWII, its aftermath, post war peace with alliance and treaty? Don’t they still matter?
Do the arguments to turn on its head all these gains (free trade, trade pacts, and peace treaties) actually make sense? How do they make sense (separate sentimentality from practicality)?
I Reserve The Grrrr for theories expressed by Trumplicans that neither pass the truth test, logic test nor practice test.
Moral and Ethical Values
What defines Christianity these days seems up in the air. Candidate Trump posited that the Pope is disgraceful for questioning his (Trump’s) faith.
Gosh, Donnie, um… never mind…
OK, so to be clear, the Beatitudes are the quintessential behavior and attitudinal standard for a Christian.
Can we hold our government to the standard? Well, the Church has provided enough guidance (oodles of Apostolic Exhortations, Encyclicals, and Social Justice Doctrine) oh how that can happen without breaking the bank and keeping good separation of State and Religion.
Nothing breaks my heart more than Speaker of the House Paul Ryan misapplying Church teaching. That is Grrrr worthy indeed!
Paul, brother, how about you get your head around the 7 Noahide Laws before you move on to the more sublime.
I Reserve The Grrrr for draw their moral and ethical values from no know identifiable source. If Bishop Ambrose can borrow from Cicero and Jewish-Christian values be substantially informed by the Greek ancient Aristotle I think there is plenty of room for varied and substantive moral and ethical dialog.
Simply put, ignore the finger-in-nose philosophy of Trumplicanism. Ditto Congresswoman Maxine Waters, et al, who seem to only know how to pile on and attack every flaw and minor oopsy.
This is an important area to Grrrr.
I am amazed at the lack of vocabulary skills. By which I mean knowing what a word means and using it correctly. Geepers!
Deliberate redefinition of words to invoke emotional responses is difficult.
Please learn the actual definition of Socialism and Communism. Stop using Socialism to describe a subsidized school lunch program.
While on the topic the words I got words. Progressive gets bruised and bloodied. We have a progressive federal income tax rate.
Here is a communist expression that supports it.
For if the eagerness is there, it is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have; not that others should have relief while you are burdened, but that as a matter of equality your surplus at the present time should supply their needs, so that their surplus may also supply your needs, that there may be equality. As it is written: “Whoever had much did not have more, and whoever had little did not have less.”
2 Corinthians 8:12-15. It’s all right there in Two Corinthians, right Donnie?
Law of Reciprocity
What anchors you? What anchors the ones you are listening to?
The commandment “You shall not kill” thus establishes the point of departure for the start of true freedom. It leads us to promote life actively, and to develop particular ways of thinking and acting which serve life. In this way we exercise our responsibility towards the persons entrusted to us and we show, in deeds and in truth, our gratitude to God for the great gift of life (cf. Ps 139:13-14).
The Creator has entrusted man’s life to his responsible concern, not to make arbitrary use of it, but to preserve it with wisdom and to care for it with loving fidelity. The God of the Covenant has entrusted the life of every individual to his or her fellow human beings, brothers and sisters, according to the law of reciprocity in giving and receiving, of self-giving and of the acceptance of others. In the fullness of time, by taking flesh and giving his life for us, the Son of God showed what heights and depths this law of reciprocity can reach. With the gift of his Spirit, Christ gives new content and meaning to the law of reciprocity, to our being entrusted to one another. The Spirit who builds up communion in love creates between us a new fraternity and solidarity, a true reflection of the mystery of mutual self-giving and receiving proper to the Most Holy Trinity. The Spirit becomes the new law which gives strength to believers and awakens in them a responsibility for sharing the gift of self and for accepting others, as a sharing in the boundless love of Jesus Christ himself. (Evangelium Vitae, 76).
If you are listening to an anchorless person, walk away.
I Reserve The Grrrr for people who want to be perceived as to have an identifiable moral framework (other than Machiavellianism). For the Machiavellian just accept they like human liver with a good Chianti.
Devil Double Dealing
I will no longer ‘Grrrr’ at people who say ‘well Trump is this and that but at least we got Gorsuch’. I recommend lighting a votive candle in the tradition of your choice for their redemption.
It is hard work to listen. It is harder when you want to Grrrr. It is supremely hard to do when the speaker is violating the Grrrr reservations. But still all statement has something worthy to hear.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle or maybe Stuttering John)
For your convenience.
|Grrrr-less||Reserve the Grrrr|
|Trivial Offenses||Substantial Offenses (please re-factor)|
|Election Consequences||Hidden Agenda Consequences|
|Lack of Civics||Misapply Civics|
|Lack of History||Misapply History|
|Freedom Obsessed||Misapply 7 Noahide Laws|
|Propaganda||Misapply truth, logic.|
|Some framework provided by authorities such as: Cracker Jacks, Fortune Cookies.||Misapply Catholic Social Teaching, Apostolic Exhortations, Beatitudes|
|It’s all about me (it’s not but no point is fussing over this person)||Law of Reciprocity violations|
|Devil Double Deal||Lack of reflective thought|
Let me know how you do!
Forgive me Father for I have sinned…
Peace be with you,