A Word on What Pollutes

I find it interesting to see what is meant when it is mentioned that the environment is in jeopardy.

Sure, there may very well be serious issues going on in the physical atmosphere and surroundings that are caused by a variety of factors. We certainly have a responsibility to look after that physical surrounding as much as we can.

What’s also interesting, however, is how much is spent on that issue and comparatively how much is spent talking about relational environment. The interpersonal surrounding. The sphere between people and how they engage with each other. I wonder if we are as concerned about how that seems to fragment and corrode easily too.

There are still people who are very fussy and sensitive about certain words being used in the public sphere either in professional life or in the public sphere. Utter an obscenity, a vulgarity or a profanity and there will be much in the way of condemning and tut-tutting among the chattering classes. Meanwhile malicious gossip still sells in abundance. It’s juicy, attractive and alluring to a massive degree. Even though that kind of talk is far more repugnant than a single word of profanity. We’re upset about a word, but we’re not as upset about a string of words that entice while poisoning the minds and hearts of the speaker, the hearer and the person who is the prime subject of those words.

I never heard my Dad utter a profanity or vulgarity in all the time that I’ve known him. Never once. But that wasn’t particularly impressive. What was far more impressive about him was that in all the time I knew him I have never heard him engage in the slightest bit of gossip. And I know he’s sat in settings where others were blatantly and patently talking trash, nonsense and toxic foolishness about someone else. They may have been talking, but he wasn’t engaging in that at all. Even if they brought that stuff to him to get him involved, he would bypass it and talk about something else. Sure, he didn’t challenge the individual about it – but if he did, he would do it discreetly, so I wasn’t going to see that.

It’s an issue that has a greater impact on the environment than we really appreciate. It’s devastating effects are far more catastrophic than we really acknowledge. Yet it is so pervasive and so much the norm in the world around us that it’s no surprise that it gets a back seat to matters that people think are more important. It’s no wonder that people want to address certain external matters first, without really addressing the root cause of why we’re so good at polluting and poisoning.

If I stayed in that mode of contemplation, it wouldn’t take long to be despondent.

Thankfully, there’s wisdom on hand to help direct matters in a far more beautiful and harmonious alternative. If my mind is filled with what is true, noble, right, pure, excellent, admirable, lovely and praiseworthy, there can be no room at all for conversations of gossip. It’s just not possible. The words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart would not broker any notion of speaking things that corrupt. It’s just not possible. Others can and will do what they want and will talk whatever they want to talk. As for me and the example that’s been set for me, I am left with the far more pleasant and attractive alternative to pursue what makes for peace and righteousness. Which affects the type of conversations I have.

That might do more to help the environment than people see at this time.

(Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake


C. L. J. Dryden

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