This column is archived at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2006/cbarchive_20060922.html
Is it just me, or are people really getting meaner? It seems that much of what I hear and read these days indicates that people's actions and attitudes are increasingly rude, crude, and downright cantankerous. Has it always been this way? If it was, I don't remember it.
Granted, there is much to be upset about nowadays. People are being taxed out of their minds. Governmental meddling has never been more intrusive. Savings accounts are down. Indebtedness is up. Most newspaper headlines serve only to raise our blood pressure. Americans fear the IRS more than they do Osama bin Laden. Many Americans are working two and even three jobs just to make ends meet.
Hollywood used to provide respite from day to day pressures. No more. All they do now is contribute to raising stress levels. Ditto for most major league sports. And when is the last time we could trust anything our congressman told us? Come to think of it, we can't trust much of anything anybody tells us.
Egad! I'm getting angry just writing this column.
However, is it really obligatory that we lose our warmth and compassion? Is everyone who disagrees with us really our enemy? Can we not remain truly uncompromising for a principle without becoming a raving, sadistic madman?
Furthermore, it doesn't seem to matter in what "camp" one finds oneself. The story is the same. Conservatives can be just as mean-spirited as liberals and vice versa. Christians just as contemptuous as atheists. In fact, I know unbelievers whom I would far rather be around than some believers.
In addition, I used to believe that ladies were the "kinder, gentler" sex. No more. Heaven help the person who crosses some of these avant-garde females. And pity the poor man that marries one of these angry American women.
Even people who try to work with youngsters feel the wrath of an out-of-control, angry society. Sunday School teachers. Public school teachers. Christian school teachers. Private school teachers. Day care workers. Baby sitters. And especially Little League coaches. Those people take their lives in their hands!
Okay. So we're not all going to sit around a campfire and sing Kumbaya. Can we not at least be civil with one another? As my dad used to say, "Can't we disagree without being disagreeable?"
For the most part, Americans have developed a very unhealthy anger attitude. We have lost our sense of humor, not to mention our ability to forgive. Even Christians have become egotistical, proud, and arrogant. No wonder we have lost the propitious smile of Heaven.
For example, when people with whom we disagree get into trouble with the federal government or the mainstream media, we rejoice in their tribulation, not realizing that the same monster could turn against us with the flip of a coin (or administration). How is it that we cannot see that the same liberties and principles that we desire for ourselves must be granted to others, or we all lose?
The only people who benefit from this anger-addicted society are the power-brokers and controllers who desire to transform America into an international Monopoly game. You see, angry people are easy to manipulate, because they have lost their ability to reason. Even our Creator implores us to "reason together." However, objectivity is lost when anger controls our spirit. Rightly does the Scripture command us, "Be ye angry, and sin not."
Furthermore, is not inner peace and joy a gift of God, not dependent upon circumstances or the actions of others? Christians claim to know and worship the Prince of Peace. Why, then, can they not act like it?