Facebook reminded me I had an event on my calendar today.
A rabies clinic.
Not for me, of course!
Time to take our dog Tess and make sure she is up to date on her vaccines.
The event is for her benefit.
But it got me thinking…
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was such a thing as a rabies shot for people…politically speaking, I mean…?
A once a year (or every three years) inoculation against working ourselves into a foaming-at-the-mouth bite-anybody-and-anything-in-our-way’s-head-off kind of rage?
Want to get into an intense debate with somebody over politics or religion, preferred child-rearing practices, or whether the toilet paper should drape over or under the roll?
Show proof of your vaccination…and then discuss, debate, disagree, persuade and convince all you want.
Once you’ve had your shot, there will be no danger you will “lose it” and start demonizing or belittling the person you disagree with. You will stick to the issues and avoid that tell-tale “foaming-at-the-mouth” ridiculousness.
(A ridiculousness which I can assure you is highly unlikely to win anyone to your way of thinking…)
I’d be first in line for it.
I try to stay measured when expressing my views, but I know I am as susceptible as anyone to slipping into that rabid response trap.
Symptoms: increased heart rate, appeal of snarky comments and images, appreciation of humor that comes at the expense of others, etc…
Maybe somebody will be able to invent this vaccine…
In the meantime, I would suggest a non-medicinal inoculation:
It can be found in Ephesians.
“So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.”
Until they develop the vaccine, this should help.
Give it a try.
Recommended dosage: Read regularly. In some cases it might even help to print it out and stick it next to your computer screen. Reflect. Repeat.
Possible side effects: Improved relations with those around you, lowered blood pressure, and ability to consider a variety of perspectives.
(No animals were hurt in writing this blog post, although some whipped cream did meet a timely demise…)