Seniors: It Isn’t They, It is I

Jan 17th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

It isn’t they, it is I.  That is what all the reflections, inflections, insights, hindsights come down to. The only person over whom I have any ultimate influence and control is myself. Blaming others, accusing the universe, pointing fingers, railing at the body politic does not finally create civility. I do. I am the one who can make a difference in my small corner of this world that begs for people to be kind and generous and caring and loving.

I am the one who needs to take on the responsibility for behaviors that create the difference in an environment of hostility or civility. I am the one who can lift my voice in song or shout out invectives in judgment. I am the one who is called upon to volunteer to be a hero every day, ready for whatever prompting to receive my readiness, my willingness, my example.

It isn’t they, it is I!  I am the one to take the initiative.  I am the one who can seize the moment, when the moment is there to be seized.  I can offer refuge to those who need it.  I can offer protection to those in the line of fire.  I can be the one who substitutes  foul words with hopeful ones.  I can be the one who offers calm in the midst of a brewing battle.  I need not wait for someone else.  I can step to the front of the line and be the one who shows courage and conviction.  I can be the one who is there when solace and calming intervention can make a difference.  It isn’t they, it is I.

When the furor has reached its fever pitch, what will I do?  When patience is no longer exercised, how will I help reintroduce patience?  When all else around me have reduced themselves to the folly of despair, how will I stand tall and resolute and reconciling?  Surely, it won’t happen if I wait for “them,” for it is I, not they who must be ready to go on the record, to stand up and be counted, to face the critics and the naysayers. 

One more time we have been met with a startling picture of the behaviors of which humans are capable.  And, for all that we have witnessed, we are pleased that goodness has prevailed in the face of the dark side.  Now, we come to the hard choices.  What must we be willing to forego in order to perpetuate the goodness?  What must we be willing to risk in order to inculcate good behaviors, persistently positive examples, well appointed manners and civility in the face of the temptation to do otherwise?

If our fears and our suspicious natures would overcome us, goodness will not prevail.  If our dedication to a moral code, an ethical position that posits good against evil and insists upon our grooming ourselves for the good, then in the face of the ugliness of evil We and They can and shall prevail.



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