July 29, 2018: What’s the Default?

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to high office. Aesop

Too often we put saddlebags on Jesus and let the donkey run loose in the pasture. Rumi

I was wondering about default behaviors under pressure and what it might say about ourselves—as in just how much grace we exude as opposed to venom.

I know I’ve struggled with going nuts over what are really little things. I know that if things get serious, I somehow tend to get centered. I know how the former behavior arose (resentment), but not the latter, though I apparently learned which one works and which one doesn’t. Nonetheless, I don’t always practice it. It is interesting to wonder why that is.

And that brings me to whom we hire to run things, from presidents to those in Congress, to state and local “leaders.” Do we vote or choose from frustration or from being serious and centered? It seems to me, most of us choose from frustration. And then being frustrated again, we choose from the same place. And we tend to interact with each other in the same manner—unless there is a disaster. Of course, I have been trying to learn for quite some time, so I’m not writing this from some hill-on-high. However, I do wonder if it’s better to stop careening about and choose a different default behavior when we are frustrated (duh!). After all, politically, globally, and interpersonally, things seem to have notched up rather seriously and may require bringing some major degree of sobriety to our decision-making. Perhaps in such times as these, we could save the frustrations for little things and not confuse what’s petty with what’s serious. Perhaps then we won’t hang the petty criminals and promote the good ones—and perhaps we won’t put the saddlebags on the wrong being.

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