Recently I wrote asking us all to resolve to do three things in 2017—to be more thoughtful, hopeful, and prayerful. In this installment, I ask us to do two more things. I ask us all to be more respectful and helpful.
These two things are so closely related that they almost could be counted as just one thing. It is respect for others that motivates us to be helpful.
One of the things that prompted this plea is a current Facebook meme. I do not know its origin, but I like the sentiment.
“While much of America seems to be getting more and more divisive, I’m going to be holding doors for stangers,letting people cut in front of me in traffic, greeting all I meet, excising patience with others, and smiling at strangers. I’ll do this as often as I have opportunity. I will not stand idly by and let children live in a world where unconditional love is invisible and being rude is acceptable. Join me in showing love and respect to others. Find your way to swing the pendulum in the direction of love. Because today, sadly, hate is gaining ground. Love must begin somewhere and love will overcome hate. Imagine the difference if we each purposefully loved a little more.”
The other thing behind this post is my own personal observations. On the one hand is the evidence of a general lack of respect these days. If you don’t believe this is so, just ask a police officer. Or a teacher. Or an elected official. Or an elderly person. Or someone who is deemed a little different. Or a server at your favorite restaurant. I know what they will say, because they have told me they often
do not feel respected. We all hear the snide remarks, vulgar words, and hate speech. We see the obscene gentures and the images of burning and looting. We read the disrespectful posts. What has happened to us?Where has respect gone? Where is our civility?
On the other hand, however, we also see examples of people who genuinely care about others, respect them, and look for ways to be helpful. As an example, some of our young people at church have been collecting items to give away to the homeless people in Knoxville. Why? They see these people, just like the rest of us, as those made in God’s image, loved by Jesus, and worthy of resect.
They see a need, and they are motivated to help meet it. God bless them. May their tribe increase.
Will you join me in a resolution to be more respectful and helpful, as we go forward on our journey? That even includes those who are very different from us and those with whom we disagree. We must learn to disagree without being hateful. As the Bible says, let’s resolve to do good to all (Gal. 6:10), and to help bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2).
Who needs an encouraging note, a friendly greeting, or a helping hand from you? From me? We must not stand idly by. Ready, set, go!