My older brother has experienced the insider beat in the Washington DC scene. He wrote speeches for many political leaders (including President Reagan). He has been acquainted with many seasoned statesmen and stateswomen. He was active with various D.C. Think Tanks. He was on his way to the White House for a meeting on 9/11/01 when the day changed for everyone. He had many such memorable encounters during his time in that space.
However, when he moved out of that circle, he moved far away from it. He once told me he was fascinated with Washingtonian activities for much of his life then moved there and got to be part of it for a season. He said it was like finally getting somewhere that had fascinated him his whole life but when looking through the window, didn’t like what he saw.
He turned and walked away.
One conversation he had with a well-known conservative stateswoman however, has always stuck with him (and me). He asked her how she stayed so impassioned and engaged in that political world where there was so much tumult.
She said, “It’s a walk in the park. I just don’t pick up the dog (dookie) as I walk.”
Think About it
As defenders, we see a lot of the worst in people. We read (or even compile) statistics and news for ammunition to validate our views. We are repulsed by the rapid decline of morality in our nation and communities.
Those are real issues of genuine concern. But think about what kind of senior citizen you want to be.
An old grump? Sour? If you pick up too much dookie and hold it too tight along the way, you will be.
There are plenty of topics to be concerned about. Some of those topics may be worthy of losing some relationships over but be careful what you’re picking up and holding tight.
Perhaps Paul’s words still apply today? “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
Carefully consider your sources. Stay informed. Stay engaged.
Some of us have the job of dealing with the dookie. But don’t let it discolor your hands or spirit. Clean the park but remember Paul’s words.