Much has been written lately about the red “Save Our Police” signs blanketing Southampton Village. Quite a bit of it has been in condemnation of them, some even referring to them as “weaponized” or “dramatic.”
In order to even think those words, one would have to come from a very privileged position. Privileged because you never had to feel the cold, breathless terror as you frantically dialed 911 in the middle of the night. Privileged because you never experienced those minutes that stretched to feel like hours, as you waited for help to arrive because your home, your property or your body has been violated. If you are privileged enough to never know those horrors, then you are privileged enough.
Neighbors are at war over the signs in this village, and we are divided like never before. Just because your neighbor is grateful for the police and has a sign, does that mean you are ungrateful or privileged because you don’t have one? What if we exchanged the word “privilege” with the word “fortunate”? Does that change things?
What if we took it one step further and exchanged the word “dramatic” with the word “grateful?”
Those two small word exchanges now allow us to come together. I am thankful for the assistance I have received, and you are thankful you have never needed it. We are thankful for different reasons, but we are able to meet on common ground and smile at each other’s good fortune.
That’s what I see when I drive past all the signs. I see them as a collective prayer of gratitude and thanks to the men and women who have helped save our lives and the lives of those we love. By shifting my perspective, I can now smile on their absence as well. We should all try that.
We are friends, we are neighbors, we are family, and we all love this village. Simply by shifting our perspectives, we can find common ground. As we emerge from our COVID isolation, we should give thanks that we can safely gather together again, and strive to treat each other with kindness, compassion and respect.
One fine body…