In the Mirror
Two similar quotes have been on my mind for the past month, and today it seems to be particularly relevant given this weekend's shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, Judge Roll and others who were participating in a very American activity--a political meet-and-greet.
"The world is a looking glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face." Thackeray.
"The world is a mirror. The faults you see in others are your own." Baal Shem Tov.
When I read the news or listen to talking heads on television, I want to ask them if they looked in the mirror today. Do they like the image they are portraying to this country and the world? Does Sarah Palin really believe that using crosshairs to illustrate "targeting" political seats is a good message to send to a country already inflamed by intense political rhetoric, like Sharron Angle's "take him out" reference to Harry Reid during the last campaign?
Even though Angle tried to back away from the comment later, Reid's campaign noted that Angle had used that phrase repeatedly during the campaign. It was no slip-of-the-tongue. Carl Paladino's use of the same phrase in reference to a reporter caused a stir, but the candidate did not back away from his statement. Really, Mr. Paladino? You really mean that you will "take him out" because he irritated you? Has it really come to this?
Now we have a man who apparently is not mentally stable, acting on his own erratic impulses and misplaced anger. How much did the political atmosphere influence him? What did he see in his personal mirror on the world?
It is time for all of us in America to take stock of our own reflections. I am not happy with the last election, but am I projecting the same anger and rudeness I see in the other party? I hope not; I try to listen to others and respectfully agree to disagree. Is my dissatisfaction with my job showing in my face, actions, and words, and spreading a pall over my work environment and those who must share it with me?