When Courtesy Is Left Behind

Life is not so short but

that there is always time

enough for courtesy.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

I found this quotation in my morning email. After yesterday’s post regarding my experience at the neurosurgeon’s office, I appreciate the coincidence or is it synchronicity?

And here’s a bit more, I think.

The working title of one of the essays I’m writing is “Love in a Time of Hate.” Admittedly, it’s challenging and not because I believe much of life is a Zen koan, although it just may be.

The issue is Emerson’s point, courtesy—a reverence for life that is increasingly rare. I would be hard put to find a more apt quotation for my online experience so far today.

As a wise friend observed, the face of all this snark is frustration. We are turning on one another rather than looking for a sliver of light in what is a great darkness. And it’s exhausting, especially when hate seems so strong.

That stops me in the writing of my essay but I’m determined to finish it because I know hate does not exist without love, truly. Hate is merely love buried but love is resilient. Its heart does not stop beating until ours does.

And it’s complex this love-hate that is so integral to being human. One does not exist without the other because like light and dark, they are halves of a whole. And when we understand that, we will not fear hate or hide our love.

It’s reverence for life that will get us there, I think, for courtesy clears any air, albeit momentarily. It changes the pace and sometimes, that’s all that’s necessary, even if the solution is to walk away. Courtesy allows us the integrity to do so.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

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