With regard to tolerance, it was once said to me,

“If you found out that someone’s mother had just passed away, would you treat them different? Would you give them more grace? Would you be more tolerant?”

My answer was, “Yes”.

The response I received was, “Well, then treat everyone as if they just lost their mother. Being tolerant won’t kill you.”

I attended a funeral this weekend. Amanda’s grandfather passed away at the age of ninety-three. While losing a loved one is never easy, I think it is a bit easier to celebrate the death of a man who has lived a full life, and is surrounded by people who love him.

As I stood in a room full of people, most of which I have never met, I observed how death seems to bring out the best in folks. There was so much respect being paid in every way; respect for the dead, respect for the bereaved, respect for one another. It was a nice reminder that people are inherently good on some level.

Death seems to bring out the highest degree of tolerance in others. A funeral is a time when emotional outbursts, fits of anger, and bouts of extreme sadness are met with understanding. A time of mourning is when the water rushes under the bridge the fastest and the most forgiveness is granted.

I’m a huge fan of death. I’m glad to know that there is an end, and I think it helps me to appreciate what time I have to be alive and experience as much as possible, good and bad. I don’t want to live forever and I don’t want to die any time soon… but I’m not so sure that is really up to me.

In the small town of Sparta, TN. I was reminded of how good it is to live in the South. Sure, there are any number of reasons to complain about the direction that we are headed, and the sense of impeding doom which has been pumped through every possible media outlet for decades, but when you are part of a funeral procession and you have the opportunity to watch every single car, in every single direction, pull over to the side of the road to pay respect for the family of the deceased….it’s a pretty powerful thing. When you witness the hat over the heart of a serviceman who has no knowledge of the identity of the deceased, it’s a good reminder that people care.

It’s a shame that it takes death for people to truly empathize with one another. It’s sad that it takes a loss of life for someone to meet another human being on their emotional level, but at the same time, it’s a great reminder of how good life is and how nice it is to have other people living it with you.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,