Chill’s Blog: Hiding Their Goodness

One of the great luxuries I have in traveling a lot with my job is that I get to work out at times other than my usual 5:30 am. So last month, I was watching the Ellen Show and a conversation I heard between her and Chris Matthews from Hardball with Chris Matthews has stuck with me. And as the inauguration date is getting nearer, their conversation has come back to me.

Because their meeting was within a couple weeks of Obama’s election, it was, of course, the topic of their conversation (they also took a shot of something yummy to toast the victory…how many toasts have been made around the world to celebrate the victory and hope for the future?). Chris said that he had been talking with the campaign manager who was in charge of PA. The campaign manager had predicted a 3% victory margin for Obama in PA and once the final count was in, it was not 3%, but 11%. Chris asked, “What must it be like for a black person in PA looking at their white neighbors and wondering who were the 8% that are hiding their goodness? Who are the 8% that couldn’t admit that they were going to vote for a black man?” Funny how leading up to the election there was much talk about the Bradley effect. I wonder what the effect will be called in future generations to describe the 8% that were hiding their goodness in this election.

So that led me to think about why would anyone hide their goodness? What has happened to make it scary to do the right thing? And then I quickly circled around to my utmost belief that most people are not hiding their goodness and are not scared to do the right thing; that people do intend to do good more often than not; that given the opportunity to step forward, people will. I look no further than the front page of our local paper over the past week. With the possibility of closure and removal of many community services and events due to budget constraints, people are stepping forward to open their own shrinking pocketbooks to maintain the community for everyone’s sake and health. Maybe it is the observer who is not seeing or hearing the goodness around him. Am I missing the opportunities to see the goodness of people? Have the rose colored glasses that have been criticized in years past been exchanged for dark shaded glasses in an era of fear and cynicism?

After some more political talk, Ellen and Chris circled back around to the essence, perhaps their essence as human beings, not talk show hosts, and repeatedly spoke the phrase: “No more hiding your goodness and no more mean.” Wow, what will become of a world where folks did those two simple things? Boom Boom is the opportunity, the permission, and perhaps even the command to not hide our goodness and to not be mean.

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