22. Setting Aside a “Special Day”

It is not falling into a mire
that is the disgrace –

… but lying there,
and wallowing in it.

An honourable man or woman … WILL … ‘fall’
from time to time. Through fear, or panic, or lust,
Integrity may be uncharacteristically discarded
in a fit of passion, loneliness, or melancholy.

But those of moral principle – though defeated
for a while, Will see their own disgrace…
and will remove themself from it.

Character, in a human being, is a matter
of CONSISTENCY.

A loud, over-bearing braggart may well keep quiet
for one hour at a funeral – but he is still a loud,
over-bearing braggart.
THAT is his regular state of existence.

A “special occasion”, ‘special day’,
or ‘moment of reflection’ will do nothing
to change What He Is.

The character of a man or woman is revealed
by the consistency of conduct and conversation
that is manifest in their every-day life.

A righteous man; an honourable woman
– needs no special occasion to activate courtesy,
consideration, or conscience.

In a mid-December journey to the city,
I noticed the tinsel-sparkling sentiment
“Good Will Toward Men”
in relation to the liquor-swilling festive hypocrisy
known as “Christmas” –
a time ( it is glibly touted ) for … “peace”.

The lifelong observation of people has satisfied
my conscience that the setting aside
of certain dates in the year for “Good Works”
does Nothing More than foster a spirit of legalism
– insincerity … hypocrisy … even apathy –
in the bulk of their participants.

In the 1960’s, we, as schoolchildren,
started each day in the gymnasium,
by reciting the Lord’s Prayer;
singing a hymn ( usually
“All Things Bright and Beautiful” );

and generally being instilled with the sentiment
that WE … were not the centre of the universe.

That was then.

Of course, in this enlightened age,
such activity has long since been eradicated
from the public school system in which teachers
must NEVER interfere with a child’s self esteem.

It is now imperative that Dick and Jane
have very high opinions of themselves,
so that they can become teenagers
and tell their elders to ‘f**K off”.

Now then, let me ask you:

In such a world as that – of what use is a
“Day of Prayer” … a “Moment of Remembrance”
… to a nation that has completely obliterated God,
Moral Decency, and Self Control ?

It is nothing but an empty gesture – a farce

… a display of utter hypocrisy by people
who would not give “God” or even moral people
a second thought in their daily lives.

It is Hypocrisy.

And yet, A Moment of Prayer is a farcical display
that is melodramatically performed by politicians
and ‘leaders’ … whose laws and proclamations
have removed from their society,
the very “God”
unto whom they pretend to pray.

By a single action, or a single occasion,
or Special Day, self-centred multitudes
imagine great things of themselves:

while the regular conduct of their lives
consists of gratifying nothing but vanity, ambition,
laziness, and the constant pursuit of entertainment.

Special Days, Dates, and Ceremonies … do nothing
but harden the hard-hearted in their own conceit;
and foster a spirit of hypocritical legalism
by making people think that,

because they put a coin in a tin …
send a box of food to a ‘food bank’ …
or give a second thought to an abused animal
on some Isolated, Single Occasion –

they are therefore “doing their part” –
doing “all that is required” of them.

At “Christmas” people send cards
( although, I understand that email is now
serving insincerity and laziness with the utmost
in non-effort ) …

to family members with whom they have
Not One Moment’s Contact
for the entire rest of the year.

But … they have “done their bit” –
they have observed that “one special day a year”
– and so, nothing more should be expected of them.

The hypocrite can once again return to 364 days
of revelling in what matters most – ME:
My Laziness, My Ambition, and My Entertainment.

I am against the “observance” of “special” days
for the simple reason that the only thing “special”
about them,

is that they give the vast majority of apathetic humanity
the opportunity to tell their barely lukewarm consciences
that they … ‘care’.

People push a banknote into a tin (80%+ of which,
pays the salaries of CEO’s, staff, and brochures
of some ‘charitable’ organisation)
and see themselves as the saviour of abused animals.

[ During the 12 weeks I could endure at the SPCA,
concrete-enclosed dogs spent 23 hours-plus
with NO metal stimulation … NO TOY with which to play
… and most had NOT EVEN a Bed upon which to lie.

Walk in and ask for an impromptu tour of the kennels
before writing a cheque to support
the mental-and-emotional torture of dogs
confined in isolation to the concrete boxes
of the local “Shelter”. ]

People “give” and walk away secure in the conceit
that they have “done their bit” …
and that no further thought is required.

To a Genuine heart …
“Special” days are NOT required.

Those who ARE “the real thing” …
will show it – every single day of their life.

Their conduct and conversation
will reveal – to every person who spends
more than five minutes in their company –
precisely what type of person they are.

The man or woman who is concerned
for the welfare of animals,
will be concerned for the welfare of animals
in EVERY aspect of his or her daily life.

They will not buy anything other than Free Range eggs;
will not give their money to “corporate” meat suppliers
that slaughter animals en masse;

will NOT buy cosmetics or cleaning products
UNLESS assured that that product does Not engage
in ‘animal testing’;

and will scrutinise local animal products
and ask questions
before spending money to support businesses.

Unlike the Most – whose ‘look out for Number One
attitude – will buy whatever is ‘on sale’.

Those who ARE who they say they are,
WILL keep their word.

They will show – all the time – that they
mean what they say;
and they say what they mean.

Kindness, Courtesy, and Compassion
will be evident in the conduct and conversation
of those who are TRULY … “kind” people.

Show me what you do on a Day-to-Day basis
– NOT what you do every now and then
( never mind just one day a year ).

Those who require “a day” to spur them to Thought,
Consideration, or Action … are neither
thoughtful, considerate, or conscientious.

Their kindness is ’empty’ … Hypocritical.

I was asked whether I believe that a ‘special day’
for kindness, sincerity, compassion, empathy –
is a good thing.

I have answered – “No.”

Being on the “outside” of humanity,
and having observed human beings
for 55 years now, I know that one day a year
will do nothing
to change the selfish spirit that actuates
such an individual for 364 days a year.

It strengthens the hypocrite in their hypocrisy,
but has no effect on those who are genuine.

Kindness will be habitual in those who are TRULY kind.
To such a person, a special ‘occasion’ or ‘day’

will be no different

than any other.

P Livingstone

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