A young coworker of mine announced she was pregnant with her first baby. She looked so radiant and was such filled with happiness, it moved me.
This young man held a post in this office some time in the past, and then got a promotion and went elsewhere. He was liked and well regarded by his colleagues at work.
After he left, he got involved in high school activity as a father of two girls and was appointed president of the federation of parents’ local associations, which gave him some renown and made him kind of a (lesser) public figure.
Last week, his face showed up in a photograph in a local paper, because an old, leftist political party in quest of renovation had apparently sounded him for a leading place in its lists as an independent candidate. The article was badly laid out, though, and actually induced the casual reader to think that he (our young man) was in fact being engaged with the old, rightist political party.
When a guy at the office wholeheartedly, cheerfully, naively points to the young man’s picture in the paper and says out loud for everyone to share his joy, ‘Look, it’s <the young man’s name>, he’s on the news again, and this time big time!’ another coworker raises her ugly, anger-filled face to bitterly retort, ‘Yeah, but he’s joining the <name of the wrong party>’.
So there you have it, spontaneously acted out for the benefit of your eyes and ears —atavistic, careless, silly bonhomie (he’s our friend, he’s flourishing: let’s celebrate) versus sophisticated, pointed, self-righteous and hate-inducing moral and political judgmentalism (he used to be on the right side; now he’s mean, less than decent; he’s not our friend any more —quite the contrary).
Collecting sinners in an old tin cup.