Happy About the Death of Rush Limbaugh?

Rush Limbaugh died today of lung cancer at age 70. Like or dislike, agree or disagree, he was a human being with family and friends that loved him. Those people are in pain right now. They are mourning the loss of their husband, father, and friend. Anybody that has ever lost anybody knows what that pain feels like. Now imagine feeling that while the people around you celebrate.

I’m watching online as news of Limbaugh’s death spreads, and there is a large group of folks, presumably on the left, that are happy he’s gone. They have declared that he didn’t earn their respect in life, so he doesn’t get any in death either. They are missing a very important point.

Life is a mirror. As we watch people and observe their behaviour we form opinions of that behaviour, we judge it as right or wrong, good or bad. Often in the process, we turn a blind eye to our own behaviour. We are mirroring the behaviour we didn’t like in the other person and justifying it in ourselves. This is the mirror. If we refuse to look in that mirror we are no better than the person whose death we are now celebrating.

Rush Limbaugh was disrespectful and often hateful of different groups of people in life. What I watch happen frequently is that same hate and vitriol being spewed in the other direction, equally and with just as much force. The mirror here is large. We cannot change behaviour or society as a whole without first changing our own individual behaviour. It’s cliche, but we have to be the change we wish to see in the world. What that means is that we have to stop spewing the hate we are tired of seeing in others.

We have to stop justifying our own behaviour because that person was bad or what they did was wrong or simply that they didn’t earn respect. We were asking him to earn respect from us but we’re not willing to extend the respect we wish he’d had back to him at his death. This is unfortunate and rather hypocritical.

Often what I hear is that they aren’t doing this and that so why should we? As long as we play tit for tat we’ll never get anywhere. As long as we wait for the other one to step up first we’ll never move. We’ll either be where we are for a very long time or we’ll descend deeper into chaos. I don’t think anybody wants to see where that ends up.

If Rush Limbaugh’s behaviour in life was not okay with you, then it is critical now that you behave in the way you wish he would have in his death. That is how we flip the script. That is how we create change. One person at a time, one issue at a time, one death at a time. We have to do better than what we are doing today. We are not fixing anything right now. The hate needs to stop.

Treat others as you wish to be treated, regardless of how they lived or treated you, even in death. That doesn’t mean we don’t have boundaries. That doesn’t mean that you can’t walk away. That doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself from physical assault. It simply means we don’t display the behaviour we don’t like to see in others. We recognize the mirror and we are willing do something about it.

Laura

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