We live in a viciously partisan atmosphere. Sadly. While the viciousness may or may not be rooted in valid emotion, the vicious expressions are making life worse and damaging relationships. It matters. We are losing respect for one another.
Hence, if there is ever a moment the Intramuralist can highlight that shows what’s better — what’s good and right and true and thus moves beyond the hatred and partisan viciousness — we’re going to grab it. We’re going to talk about it. And we’re going to encourage something better and wiser in one another.
Today, we find a glimpse of the better.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away yesterday at 92 years old. For 73 years she was married to George Bush, a man she met at a Christmas dance as a young teen. Before marrying, George, went off to World War II as a Navy torpedo bomber pilot. He later named three of his planes: Barbara, Barbara II, and Barbara III. There was something sweet about Barbara and George.
That sweetness is evident in her words…
“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people — your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”
“Cherish your human connections — your relationships with friends and family.”
“You are a human being first and those human connections — with spouses, with children, with friends — are the most important investments you will ever make.”
“You have to love your children unselfishly. That is hard. But it is the only way.”
“Our success as a society depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house.”
“You may think the president is all-powerful, but he is not. He needs a lot guidance from the Lord.”
“Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.”
“I have had great medical care and more operations than you would believe. I’m not sure God will recognize me; I have so many new body parts!”
“Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood. But everyone has something to give.”
“Bias has to be taught. If you hear your parents downgrading women or people of different backgrounds, why, you are going to do that.”
“You get nothing done if you don’t listen to each other.”
“Never ask anyone over 70 how they feel. They’ll tell you.”
“I have no fear of death, which is a huge comfort because we’re getting darn close. I don’t have a fear of death for my precious George, or for myself, because I know that there is a great God, and I’m not worried.”
“One of the reasons I made the most important decision of my life — to marry George Bush — is because he made me laugh. It’s true, sometimes we’ve laughed through our tears, but that shared laughter has been one of our strongest bonds. Find the joy in life, because as Ferris Bueller said on his day off , ‘Life moves pretty fast. Ya don’t stop and look around once in a while, ya gonna miss it!’ (I am not going to tell George you clapped more for Ferris than you did for George.)”
What a sweet, wise, and witty woman. Sweeter still, perhaps, is the gracious glimpse we have available this day, moving beyond the viciousness.
Find the joy.