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Coffee Reflection

Image by Ahmer Kalam

Makes you wonder this day

   Why there’s the gift

   of a clear blue sky and

   The crinkly coverage

   of yellow leaves everywhere

   Why there were so many voters

   for the Trump perplexity. Why?

Makes you feel a lump in the throat

   As you sip another cup of coffee

   And spot the visit of a red cardinal

   And speculate on the divisive election

So what do you do about those

   Who differ in values

   Who defend the second amendment

   Who disparage the immigrants

   Who look down on the poor

   Who deny systemic racism

   Who like conspiracy theories

   Who are strict literalists

   Who Who Who

What do you say?

   Can we compromise?

   Can we get along?

   Do we just remain silent?

How do we get beyond

   Skin–deep conversations?

   Two factors make this difficult

       Literalism and Hypocrisy

Strict literalists accept

   What is at face value

   What appears through the senses

      as the absolute truth

      without looking at the context

   So in religion they become


      rejecting Higher Criticism

      without considering the context

      or background to a Biblical text

The other disparity is hypocrisy

   A lack of honesty

   To see clearly one’s values

   Stuck on lower level survival needs

   Rather than reaching for higher thinking

   Or going deeper for authenticity

   In aligning what we say and do

   So that we pretend to be someone else

   And masquerade our intentions

   Even living in an illusionary world

   Being shallow without spiritual depth

   Coming off as a sham, living a lie

Literalists and hypocrites lack honesty

   To know who they are politically

   So they accept an easy answer

   From Fox news or conservative media

   And fail to ask the hard questions

   Which probe deeper behind the news

   They may join a cult led by authoritarians

   Or can anyone break out of the selfishness?

Taking another sip of coffee I wonder

   when we can return to civil discourse?

   At least it is a nice day!


—By Ron Faust, 11/11/20 (On occasion when the turnout for the 2020 national election was great but contentious for both parties)

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