[Don't] hear ye! [Don't] hear ye!

There's a precious scene early in the movie It's a Wonderful Life whereby young Mary whispers into little George's deaf ear: "Is this the ear you can't hear on? George Bailey, I'll love you till the day I die." Even though she knew he couldn't hear her, she meant it and proved it by waiting, being strong and standing by him in his greatest need.

Alice and I are intentional about not wading into the murky morass of politics on our website and social media feeds. It's not that we don't have personal opinions and strong feelings; it's that we want Alive 'n Well to be a space that sows unity more than discord.

That being said, something we read about the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg struck us as helpful, no matter what your political persuasion. It was an interview from four years ago when she revealed some good advice:

"It comes from my savvy mother-in-law, advice she gave me on my wedding day. "In every good marriage," she counseled, "it helps sometimes to be a little deaf." I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one's ability to persuade."

What's the takeaway? We don't need to react to anything. We can choose to respond. Do you see the difference? The first is an impulse that might have us do/say/email/tweet/post something regrettable. The second--always after a pause which draws from truth, strength and honesty--will consistently align with the best and highest in us. It's not so much that we are being deaf (or blind or dumb); rather, we are choosing carefully and kindly what we hear (or see or understand).

If you have a case of knee-jerk reactions, may it be dismissed!