Disclaimer: I am not trying to be provocative, argumentative, divisive or dismissive.
Oh, and for my non-U.S.A. readers, my apologies. I don’t mean to drag our mess onto your doorsteps, but this blog is about my life and this post is about my personal experience during Sunday lunch with some family and friends. Also included is a personal observation which relates to it. You may even be able to relate to some of it. Please bear with me.
First, the observation. In reading the news and social media posts over the past few days, one would start to believe that these United States of America are in total chaos and turmoil. I am not saying that people aren’t emotional or hurt, or afraid, or that things are business as usual. These are troubling times. The melting pot has definitely been stirred. Lots and lots is going on. I’m aware of it. I recognize it. I acknowledge it.
The thing I’ve noticed is that the news is a big part of the problem. “News” is a business and there is big money in it. Their goal is quite simply to attract our attention with whatever works. The powers that be in the news industry aren’t interested in making this a better country or in improving our lives. They are a business.
I know that there are acts of violence and harassment taking place right now, as I am typing this. I know that discrimination and intimidation exists. There are assholes of all colors, sizes, genders, and whatever else, committing heinous acts right this second…and last month and last year. Maybe the acts are increasing. I don’t know. The news isn’t really sharing that information.
The news is just working overtime to report every single bad thing that is happening. They are busy throwing fuel on the fire of our fears.
It’s in their best interest.
Violence sells, Atrocities sell. Protest sells. I don’t put a lot of faith in the major news sources.
I do, however know what happened during our lunch on Sunday.
We went to eat Chinese food. We went to a Chinese buffet. It was new to me, but my kiddos have eaten there before so we went. It was crowded. We waited in line for 10 minutes to pay and over 20 minutes to eat. There was probably a good 200 people there. It’s a big, big place.
As we were waiting, I was looking around and doing what I normally do – people watching. After a bit, I noticed that there were 6 white folks there. Yep, we were definitely in the minority.
The minority as far as color went, that is. The main thing I noticed is that we were just a bunch of people, families mainly, that were there to eat some Chinese food (and chicken tenders of course, because you can’t have a Chinese buffet without chicken tenders. Oh, and donuts)
Nobody looked frightened or sad or fearful for their very life. Nobody was crying or angry, or waving a sign. Honestly, there was a bit of high emotion whenever the shrimp ran out, but they brought out some more so it all worked out just fine.
“We” said hello and thank you and excuse me and “they” said hello and thank you and excuse me right back. It was just fine.
It was more than fine. It was Sunday and we all sat at our tables and shared a meal. It was as fine a Communion meal as I’ve ever shared.
It’s not all doom and gloom.
There’s good stuff happening too.
I’m not saying that there isn’t work to be done and that everything is just fine because I had a nice lunch.
I’m not saying that there aren’t horrible things going on and that there is nothing to worry about.
I am trying to say that it might be better to quit relying on the news industry for all our information about what is going on in America. Maybe we should be spending more time getting out there and venturing outside of our comfort zone. Maybe it would be a good idea to actually talk to someone face to face who has a different viewpoint or opinion than we do. Even better, maybe just listen to them.