Some of you are too young to remember that little jingle. It was a TV ad for a car called the “Arrow” and the tune set to the words above were actually quite catchy. Thus, the lingering melody in my head.
But the arrows I was feeling this morning were of another nature. And the high road my conscience was nagging me to take was struggling to fade into memory as well. I will explain.
I had been warned before I clicked the play arrow on the video clip I was about to watch. Apparently a documentary film team from Finland had come to the U.S. to get a glimpse of America during this historic Presidential campaign. The e-newsletter sent to me highlighted the part where an African American elementary teacher questions her class as to who they will vote for and why. (Now remember, you can’t vote in the states until you’re 18, and who you vote for is supposed to be a private matter, but that’s another discussion.)
When the teacher got around to Katherine, the young girl who’s father is serving in Iraq, the instructor decided to shake her head in dismay. This student was supporting John McCain. But the teacher was about to set her straight on the error of her ways. In reality, she ended up humiliating the girl.
So the arrows in my heart started to fly. Why on earth would any teacher do that to a child? What message did she just send to her class? And the world for that matter. What life lesson did she just role model? Does she know what a Republic and a Democracy are? And, what if this had been a white teacher berating a black student in her class? Let’s not even go there.
I found anger rising in my spirit. I grabbed a pen and paper and began to write a note to the Superintendent of that particular teacher’s school system. As the white hot steam poured from my ears I heard a voice in my head repeating, “Take the high road. Take the high road.”
“Take the high road?” I scoffed back at the persistent wisdom. “Doing just that is what got us to this point in the first place! So much for being politically correct. Look where it has brought us.”
I fussed and fumed some more. “Why is it OK for Black Panthers to stand with night sticks at a voting center in Pennsylvania? Imagine if there had been KKK members standing at one! And why is it OK for black preachers to say hateful things from their pulpits, but white pastors must never cross that line?” The argument in my head continued.
The more I listened to myself, the more I didn’t understand what I was hearing. No. The world as we now know it does not make sense. And life is not fair. Yes, America was built on freedom and diversity of thought. But spewing hate back at hate is probably not the answer.
Jesus was hated, misunderstood, and killed. His own people wanted Him dead. And his death was the result of their anger. Ironically, it backfired on them and turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. Three days later He made some major history. And it was good! #resurrection
As I looked at the proverbial arrows in my hands, I had to stop and do some heavy thinking. I could choose to role model correct behavior or I could shoot back and start a bloody mess. Not that fighting is all bad. Does the American Revolution ring a bell? Again, that’s for another day.
So for today, me and my arrows will take the high road. This highway of life will have plenty more ruts and bumps to maneuver. If I am going to last on this journey known as life, I will need to pace myself.
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“Me and my Arrow” is the name of a song in the animated move “The Point”, narrated by Ringo Starr. I think the song is earlier, the movie is dated 1985. That’s not the point of this blog entry, though.
You are right, we should not answer hate with hate. But a “soft” answer would be as appropriate as silence, I think. A courteous note, or maybe even a voice mail, not attacking but quietly expressing distress at the treatment of the child. Because doing nothing will not advance righteousness, though doing something in anger or hate won’t, either. Upbuilding, not destroying, is the key.
Girl I am catching up on your blog and am loving your posts. I’m impressed with your obedience to the high road. You are a great example.