“What this angry world needs is a lot more hope.”

That was the headline for an opinion column in our local newspaper last week. And it got me thinking.

While I don’t argue with the value and importance of hope in our lives, I think there’s something else this angry world needs even more: respect.

Treating others with respect is not necessarily the same as respecting them, although it would be nice to do both. But even if there are people who haven’t yet earned your respect, or who don’t deserve it, you can still treat them in a respectful way. I firmly believe in the advice that says we should treat others the way we would want to be treated. And I just as firmly believe that how we treat others can affect and influence how they treat us. So if “this angry world” included more people treating each other in a respectful way, the world would come to be a little – or maybe a lot – less angry.

As I write this, a new saying comes to mind. It’s one of my favorite quotes, from Mahatma Gandhi, who said we must be the change we wish to see in the world. That means I should make sure I always treat people with respect, which I always try to do anyway. I have to admit that there are few, if any, people in my life that I don’t respect, so this isn’t a difficult thing to do.

Now I’m starting to think about other virtues and attributes that could make this angry world a little less so. Patience comes to mind right away, along with compassion and tolerance, as well as understanding and forgiveness. These would certainly bring the temperature down in this angry world, if more people made an effort to put them into practice.

I don’t know what it would take for this to happen, but I enjoy dreaming of what the world could be like if it did. And what an improvement it would make in all our lives.

I doubt that I’ll live long enough to see this happening for real in this angry world of ours. But I can certainly hope.

August 30, 2022
©Betty Liedtke, 2022

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