The owner of this restaurant in Athens was really good to my stepmom’s brother a few months back, so we decided to get dinner there last night. When we showed up and told him her brother sent us, he hugged and kissed us and said her brother was a really good man. He even gave us their finest table and free drinks! The waitress remembered him too. They just couldn’t stop saying how kind (and tall!) he was. But he is a kind, tall man. He went to Greece with his church to help out with the Syrian refugee crisis. As someone who recoils at religion so often, my stepmom’s family often reminds me of how many religious people do amazing things for people in need. And some of them are even super liberal too, like my stepmom and her family. Sometimes I think they’re even more liberal than me, which I didn’t think was possible. I think one of the big divides on the left is how much we balk at religion, as if religion itself is the enemy. Yes, most the people trying to take away our rights are uber religious, but a shit ton of people doing really good stuff are too. I always noticed in the comedy and outdoor worlds that nobody talked about God. To admit you even believed in God was like saying you were a scientologist. I don’t know why we are so judgmental of religion and spirituality that’s not yoga or Buddhism or new age shit, but it’s really not helping our cause. It didn’t surprise me that so many good church -going people voted for trump. The left worships intellect to a fault and that makes us super prejudice, arrogant, and more or less dicks to people who have God at the center of their lives.
As someone who worked in the service industry, I’m also reminded of how much people appreciate it when patrons are kind and generous. We always remember the people who made us cry in the bathroom, but we also remember the ones who made us feel appreciated and respected. I still remember customers in restaurants and familes in my boats on the river and students I taught Like 12 years later. Now that the internet and politics have polarized us so much, it’s all the more important to treat the people who serve us (and humanity in general) with kindness.