Roses vs Daisies
An interesting parlor game is to call out a word and ask participants whether it engenders positive or negative thoughts. Love, for instance, will inevitably evoke positive comments. For some words, like fire, respondents will say it’s a 50-50 proposition depending on the circumstance. Then there are words like selfishness and egocentricity which are universally condemned as negative.
Nobody likes self-centeredness and stinginess . . . except self-centered and stingy people. Those who embody these attitudes exhibit an insensitivity and heartlessness that alienates others and contributes to a fractured community.
A character in William Krueger’s book Purgatory Ridge is described thus: “Rose seemed to be the robust embodiment of an enviable and endearing goodwill, a personal grace that was certainly deepened by her spirituality but had, in fact, always been there. Rose never seemed empty, never unable to give.”
Daisy Buchanan in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is one of the most disliked female characters in all literary history. She selfishly and constantly seeks wealth and security no matter what harm it may cause others.
Who would you rather have for a neighbor, Rose or Daisy Buchanan? Or more importantly: do I want to emulate Rose or Daisy? Put another way, do I want to be a person of goodwill and caring toward others or one whose concern is basically only for myself? Communities characterized by peace and harmony are populated by individuals with Rose’s mindset . . . a frame of mind that takes into consideration the well-being of others as well as self.
Wars, be they fought in living rooms with words or on battlefields with guns, happen because of self-interest. And wars make the planet a most unpleasant place to live. So in the effort to fashion concordant, healthy societies, let’s strive to act like Rose, not Daisy.