One of the toughest lessons I have tried to teach my children (and, frankly to remind myself) is to act/react based on who I am and NOT based on who the other person is being. That means that my morals will rule, not theirs. My intended respect for the other is still intact, no matter how badly they behave toward me. Wow, not an easy thing to do but it is one that I think is so important, especially in these days when people can bully and badger without even being in the same room because of technology. Here’s a poem I keep in my kitchen to help me remember …
I have to admit, I’m appalled at some of the behavior I’ve seen from some people who I thought I knew. Have you noticed the nastiness on Facebook and other social media? No wonder the kids these days laugh at (i.e., ignore) their parents’ teachings because they say one thing and do another. Here’s a few:
> I’ve seen truly kind and compassionate Christians spew forth hateful words with righteous indignation because they want to force their beliefs on someone else. Not like that ever works, right?! And it surely doesn’t make a non-Christian want to be anything like them.
> I’ve seen people curse, damn to hell, and otherwise verbally assault politicians and their supporters. Yes, there’s a lot to be concerned about and some fundamental differences on what is right, but frankly, from my vantage point, there’s not a politician I truly trust in the end anyway. Follow the money people! But the verbal assaults don’t actually accomplish anything other than to show your true nature in the face of opposing points of view.
> I’ve winced at how badly people cross the line in order to “root” for their favorite team. Teasing is fine. A little smack-talk is alright. But threats and badgering is so not okay! But I’ve seen it and it makes my blood boil. It certainly erodes my respect for people who put a game at that level of importance and condone quite evil behaviors.
> I continue to notice that so many people operate in a “you have to lose, in order for me to win” attitude. That infuriated me in my marriage and continues to infuriate me now. Why can’t we find the place where we both win? Why does making anyone lose (face, dignity, safety, etc.) make the winner look or feel better? I just don’t get it!
Anyway, I’m sticking to my poem. I’m forgiving anyway. I’m giving my best and being kind anyway because it hurts my heart to see man’s inhumanity to man.
I pray for the day that I can see man’s divinity to man instead. I pray ….