We’re moved by literary references this week, especially the calls to respect one another:
In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Linda Loman grieves for her husband:
I don’t say he’s a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. . . . Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person. (Act 1, Part 8)
In Stanley Kramer’s Judgment at Nuremberg, Chief Justice Dan Haywood closes the war-crimes trial with this admonition:
Let it be known that this is what we believe: In truth, in justice, and in the value of a single human being. (United Artists, 1961)
In his book, From the Kingdom of Memory: Reminiscences, Elie Wiesel counsels us, “The opposite of love is not hate but indifference.” George Bernard Shaw has similar counsel:
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity. (The Devil’s Disciple)
So what are we saying here?
Engage. Be positive. Look for the good. Recognize people. Say “Hi” in the hallway. Tell your waitress you enjoyed her attention to detail. Tell the sprinkler-repair guy you appreciated his work.
Build a community.