Longing for the Days of Mayberry

I am probably being super naïve, and certainly corny, but I have always loved the Andy Griffith Show.  I know that it represented a small fictional town, but the Sheriff Andy knew  the citizens he was to serve and protect.

Of course, since it was fictional there was very little crime, the most frequent “crime” was dealing with Otis the town drunk. But looking at our society today, compared to the town of Mayberry, the one thing I see missing is empathy. I know all society has its own dysfunctions, but I believe that if law enforcement would really get to know those whom they are charged with serving and protecting, police shootings of people of color, mainly African Americans would greatly decrease.

I believe I have said this before either on Facebook or as another Daily Prompt post. But it is time for something drastic. It’s beyond training or maybe it is training plus comprehensive background checks that include looking at candidates’ biases, making the police force look like the communities they serve, and having community events where the personnel patrolling that community are there to get to know who they are serving, protecting.

Law Enforcement, it’s not impossible to know your community. It is important to know your community.  Community events or even in the daily patrol talking with the community eases the tension. It will take time to build trust, but we have to start somewhere.

Back to the Andy Griffith show, I particularly like this scene that shows how Andy and Barney deal with Otis the town drunk. Here even gun happy, Barney had empathy.

I get it that when we don’t know people of a different ethnicity, we may be apprehensive about them. I have found and am still discovering how much we are the same. I recently saw this when a young Russian couple from my church invited my husband and I over for dinner.

When the wife and I started talking about our previous churches, we were both amazed how alike our churches were. Both churches had children choirs, youth choirs, senior choirs, mass choirs and male choirs. At both churches, the attendees felt the need to wear their Sunday best. The music was a very important focus.

I would have never known that had we not spent time together.

Michael Brown

Eric Garner

Freddie Gray

Walter Scott

Sandra Bland

Alton Sterling

Philando Castile

These names are of those who died by the hand of policemen. It isn’t a comprehensive list. But in each of these cases, the outcome should have been much different. We need to come out of the darkness and address what we know in the light of day.

There are definite policy changes to be made. This cannot continue to happen. We are all of one race, the human race. We may look different, have different upbringings, but we are all the same.

And hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation. Acts 17:26

Yes, we are of one blood. Can we see this? Can each of us reach out to someone that is not like us? It helps to dissolve stereotypes. That would be a great beginning.

 

My response to the Daily Prompt – Darkness.

 

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14 thoughts on “Longing for the Days of Mayberry

  1. I’m corny, too. Loved the Andy Griffith Show. : ) You draw a great parallel. I do believe it is possible to know our communities. We are more alike than we realize. We just don’t take the time sit down and find out anything about anyone. Sad. But, there is hope in Him. : )

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    1. Yes. I really think we need to break down the barriers. It is scary stepping out of our comfort zone but until we do, we won’t really know how much we really have in common, and find out the people we are fearing are not so scary after all.

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  2. After the events in Dallas, it is more important for us to not only know one another but to pray with one another. The enemy wants us to be divided because we lose our focus. Let us communally pray for pastors of all denominations to demonstrate unity and set the example. Thank you for sharing your walk of faith ! I will pray with you and for you.

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    1. Yes Rick. I have been praying for our nation, and will continue to do so. I cannot agree more, but I can pray for, and never ever engage with someone that doesn’t look like me. That’s why that is important. Billy Graham once stated years ago that a way to address the racial divide is to invite someone that doesn’t look like you to dinner. This year I have stepped out of my comfort zone and befriended my Muslim neighbor. We don’t worship the same God, but perhaps God will use me to introduce the gospel. She is pretty firm in her Muslim faith, but we have visited in each other’s home and have both shared our homemade baked goods. She is a beautiful person with two sweet children and her sister. She has even visited my church once. I am praying for her and her family. Thanks too for praying for me Rick. I love your spirit.

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  3. So timely… Thank you for reminding us how far we have to go. I wish the world was more like Mayberry were cops didn’t need guns and we could solve our problems with a conversation and a glass of Aunt Bee’s tea.

    Liked by 1 person

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