Friday, June 03, 2005

"Doing the right thing" and Senator Mary L.Landrieu

There is so much judgment in the world.

I'm not referring to people weighing options and making decisions in regard to what to do in their own lives. We need to make choices in our lives. We need to weigh options. That's why God gave us minds as well as hearts, so we can strive to see what works in our lives - and what doesn't.

I'm referring to the - subjective - accusations and exhortations to others to "do the right thing" which clearly mean: "stop doing what you are doing and do what I want you to do. "

Oddly enough, these pleas are not, typically, about alleviating real suffering for real people, but have to do with getting people "in line" to support someone's bid for power.

For instance, do these exhortations of "do the right thing" come up when a developer secretly buys up a mobile home park and delivers eviction notices to people in their seventies, eighties and nineties?

Do either we - or our representatives - show up and stand in front of the bulldozers, wag our fingers and say: "Now you know - and God knows - no matter what the law says you can do to these people, you are doing them wrong. Remember the Golden Rule? Come on now and do the right thing."

Yet, the displacement of our retired -formerly working - lower and middle class is becoming a real problem. I don't know about your state, but here in Florida old people - not just retirees who are still healthy - but old and frail people are being cast out of their homes with - literally - nothing. They are told to leave and the bulldozers come in. Yet I have not read about any U.S. legislators standing on pulpits and imploring those developers to "do the right thing" by compensating those seniors or giving them adequate time to try and match the sales offers to their park owners and save their homes.

Yet, this week a freshman Louisiana Senator - who is apparently in favor of approving a judicial nomination and against filibustering - wrote a letter to a colleague in the U.S. Senate -telling her to "do the right thing" and approve the nomination.

It apparently has not occurred to the freshman that Senator Mary L. Landrieu believes she is doing the right thing.

In perusing her official website, Ms. Landrieu appears to be doing one thing right, for sure. She spearheaded a conservation measure in the tradition of that greatest of Republican Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt.

So I'm thinking of writing a letter to her - even though she is not my Senator - and asking her: Senator Landrieu, what would you do if you represented Florida and you found out that your retired constituents were losing their homes - without compensation - to bulldozers?

It surely does not matter to God which political party we belong to, so long as we are honest about our intentions and that those intentions serve God.

In this respect, Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) seems to be a conservative - and a conservator - in the truest sense. She is working to preserve life through preserving our environment. She is working to preserve the freedom of the little people - the meek people who have not sought fame or glory or riches or power for its own sake - to have their say in how this great nation is governed.

Too few of us remember the Biblical passage that tells us to remove the plank from our own eye before we look for the mote in our brother's.

Yet, I feel Mother Teresa said it best: "Nothing is between you and them. Everything is between you and God."

So before we tell another to "do the right thing" we might consider: is that message really ours to deliver to someone else? Or are we really talking out loud to ourselves without realizing it?

Perhaps it is we who need to do more of "the right thing" - alleviating suffering and spreading real joy - than the person we are focusing on. Because it is a truism that we always try to teach others what we most desperately need to learn ourselves.



At 6/06/2005 12:33 PM, Blogger Belva said...

I have Clyo Beck's book, Prayerforce, 365 Days to a New Life. Beck expands on Landrieu's article in
I have to agree that it will take EACH OF US, BODY AND SOUL to make this world a better place to live, and who does it start with? (your name)______ and ME! This book is meant to be helpful to the individual, whether they are a believer or agnostic or a doubter about God's presence. It only takes a page a day - not lengthy like her blog. . .There is something about this book that feels to me like "I can't get enough" and if I read it day by day and even flip to the days that seem to cover any problems along my way, it becomes worth its weight in pearls. Right on Everybody!


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