Don’t be cruel…to a heart that’s true.
Those words from Cheap Trick (and Elvis before) ring in my ears as I watch the morning news. They resonate as I read Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. They hurt my heart as I overhear the way we to talk and about one another. In short, we as a culture have become cruel to each other.
I was watching Ted Cruz confront a Trump supporter in Indiana. I felt bad for Ted Cruz. Believe me, I am no fan of Cruz’s policies, but it seemed like he was trying to have an actual conversation with someone who supports a different candidate. As Cruz was going into Harvard debate mode, the man kept yelling back “Lying Ted”, “Where is your Goldman Sachs jacket”, “Lying Ted”, “Trump is going to kick your you know what”
Who talks to a candidate for President like that?
In fact, who talks to another human being that way?
Oh, right, we do apparently. Remember when all candidates (and Presidents), regardless of party affiliation were respected.Not to mention some of the racist comments aimed at Malia Obama after her choice of Harvard following a gap year were revealed.
I’ve also seen this cruel spirit in conversations about bathrooms. People who are working to live an authentic life (which is often a painful process) are having their basic human dignity stripped away through words and actions. It’s okay to disagree with another and its even okay to simply not see something the way another does, but it doesn’t mean you should strip away another’s dignity in the process.
When did we become so cruel? Often the cruelty is made worse because it is offered in the name of Christianity. Try as I might, I can’t find any stories of Jesus stripping away someone’s dignity or humanity. I only see Jesus lifting another’s humanity, giving and protecting human dignity.
If we as a culture have lost the ability to see another’s humanity, our shared brokenness, and the enormous power of restoration we each possess for the other, then that will slowly (and painfully) be the end of us.
We’ve got to step up and stop falling into the trap of cynicism, bitterness, anger, fear, and hopelessness. God has created us better than this.Jesus promised that all things would be renewed and Paul challenged us that we are to do the work of reconciliation.
Something better will arise out of this time because God has made us better than this. It starts with me. It starts with you. Imagine what would happen if we spent our time lifting another and reminding each other of our sacred dignity and worth. We each have that power.
I think I will put on some Cheap Trick (not an Elvis fan) and remember Don’t Be Cruel.