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JEANNE SILVER, Rancho Mission Viejo

I recently underwent a procedure in an MRI machine. You have to lie perfectly still for a certain amount of time, while you are in a tunnel, confined to a small amount of space, unable to move. In order to relax my mind and think of something else besides the situation and the loud noises going on around my head (part of the system), I let my mind float to other things.

These were my thoughts: What if we could turn off the noise all around us? What if we couldn’t hear the news every day? What if we didn’t hear “opinion” assail us from every side? What if we tuned it all out?  Well, most of it, anyway.

In these uncertain times, no matter what side of the spectrum that you are on, there is one word that is sadly missing, and that is “respect.” We listen to the noise, and we act upon it in most cases, and it buries us beneath it. They say that there are always two sides to every story . . . do we stop and listen to the “other side”? 

Don’t get me wrong . . . I am not just talking “politics” here, as most will believe I am.

No, this comes from another place. I was brought up in Ireland, in a small Jewish community in the midst of a large Christian community, both Catholic, Protestant and even Bahai! I very quickly learned to have a deep respect for all our neighbors, no matter what color or religion, and it was given back to my family in every sense.

A lasting and vivid memory . . . we were the only Jewish family on our street. When my father died, every neighbor came out of their homes, and walked silently behind his coffin for a long way, in a great show of respect. That is what I mean—and I will never forget it.

In the fractured world in which we are living at the moment, let’s stop and think and remember who we are, and what we have become, and give respect where it is due . . . and try to drown the noise that is all around us, rather like the MRI machine! That is, after all, just a machine, an inanimate object, but we humans have souls and brains and, therefore, surely have the capacity to use them in a peaceful and loving way to our fellow humankind!

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