GENDUSA COLUMN: Repairing the broken cup with respect

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, September 21, 2022

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As we watch a nation mourn its Queen and fill its streets with flowers and tears, we are in awe of the love and reverence shown to Queen Elizabeth. Whether or not one agrees with the monarchy is not the issue. But the point is how much the world is captivated by the outpouring of appreciation and respect. 

Behind an antique hutch glass door in my foyer lies an exquisite bone china teacup and saucer. My mother, Elizabeth, cherished her gift from England sent in 1953. Years later, she was not so enamored with her two children when we broke the treasure due to a royal pillow battle.  

Mom was never a sentimental person, but the Queen’s Coronation Cup was special to her for some inexplicable reason. Perhaps, it was because the two Elizabeth’s shared a sense of refinement, dignity, and fairness. 

If anyone in our family treated others with disrespect, bullying tactics, or unkind gestures, we were placed in a tomb of shame. Disappointing our Elizabeth was heartbreaking. 

Once Mom carefully repaired the fractured cup, it was displayed in a place of honor for the remainder of her life.  

Last Sunday morning, I poured my coffee, turned on the television, and retrieved the paper off the porch. Of course, the televised news was broadcasting the throngs of the British waiting hours in the queue to pay last respects to their Queen. 

During a commercial break, I was told Herschel Walker beat his wife and that Raphael Warnock ran over his wife’s foot during a dispute. Finally, the political ads end, and thankfully, I am transported back to London, where people throw flowers instead of dirt. A place where today folks line their streets in unity compared to ours that clearly show a divided line. 

Many of our politicians have stripped decorum, traded decency for votes, and replaced reverence with shouts of anger. Some representatives seem to prefer duty to party before service to the country.  

For years, bullying in politics has become an acceptable norm, and those who are supposedly our leaders are leading our nation onto the path of shame. 

None of this politically inane behavior represents me or the American majority. I am not a bully because my mother taught me to respect others. How many millions believe in kindness, courtesy and civility over winning? My Christian faith does not condone bullying and tactics to incite hatred to gain power, nor does it allow us to spread such without dire consequences.

Where has civility, pride, duty, and dignity gone? I presume to Great Britain where we observe it from afar. We must demand with our votes and words to return pride to our shores, government, and homes. 

I am confident I am not the only person who believes we can shape our country into shape with integrity. Aren’t we tired of the old political pandering and rhetoric, turbulent exclamations, and conspiracies that have befallen us? With all my heart, I believe those who disrespect others do not deserve to represent most of America or me. This country is full of outstanding and decent people who believe in truth, love and doing the next right thing for others. 

Our children desperately need to understand the value of virtue, commitment, and grace and adults with wisdom must teach it by how they behave. We can better focus on the good in us and denounce those who represent the worst in all of us. 

“It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is more difficult.” Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have,” President Abraham Lincoln said. 

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant,” the Rev. Martin Luther King said.

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching, show integrity and dignity.” Saint Paul to Titus 

These are the type of champions that continue to lead even in death. Their words are forever immortalized and true. 

I stop to gaze at the English treasure in my foyer.  The face of a Queen bedecked in jewels adorns the cup. 

A royal who lived up to her duty for seventy years and did so with dignity, honor, and respect. She is gone now, along with St. Paul, Abraham, Martin and my mother. But they gave us all hope that there will be others who will rise to meet the standard by which they lived. 

Let’s search for the righteous but not from afar.