I went for my usual two mile walk around the track this afternoon. As I watched the children play on the gym floor, I noticed a theme I couldn’t ignore. One little boy was pointing his finger at another boys face while talking at him. His voice was loud and he snapped his head in unison with every word. There was a little girl hanging on the YMCA worker and hitting him in the head with what looked like a stick. Another little girl was dragging her friend around by the arm forcing her to do what she wanted to do. Those innocent kids are modeling the same behavior I see each and everyday. My heart hurt as I faced the reality of what we have become. The anger, the forcefulness, the tone, the volume and body language could be summed up in one single word. Aggressiveness. I used to think people were like cream puffs. They looked good on the outside but the sweetness, the elegance, the depth was on the inside. It was amazing to get to know someone and discover the beauty that was hidden inside. I don’t have any desire for cream puffs anymore. After so many sour ones, my willingness to take a chance on another has faded with every angry word, the constant resistance to be civil toward one another and refusal to respect anyone who thinks different than we do. It’s a silly analogy but it makes the point. We have to be softer and allow our gentleness a chance to have a voice. We have to speak quietly so people will lean in closer to hear what we have to say. We have to be sweeter and less violent in our tone and words with one another. The evidence was right there in those small children and my heart hurt as I realized what poor role models we have been. They deserve better. We all do. I vow to be the change.