There is so much hate in this world. Have you noticed it? You can’t scroll through Facebook without seeing a political post about Roe vs. Wade followed by hateful comments. The hate isn’t just on social media. Just yesterday, a man yelled at me for not putting my shopping cart away. He had no idea I was saving it for a lady who was going to take my parking spot. I often wonder how we got here as a society (generally speaking of course as I know not everyone is like this). I think I know part of the reason. Last week on Facebook, I came across this meme- “To protect your energy… It’s okay to cancel a commitment. It’s okay to not answer a call. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to take a day off. It’s ok to do nothing. It’s okay to speak up. It’s okay to let go.” I agree with some parts of this. Yes, for sure speak up and I am all about letting go especially worries and stress. But I think we, as a society, have a hard time keeping commitments. I have canceled things and changed my mind too so I am just as guilty (sorry If I have ever done this to you) and I know sometimes cancelling is needed like in the case of an emergency. We are a very “Me” centric society and I feel we need to do better. It isn’t about us all the time. We have to think about the people counting on us to fulfill that commitment or think of the person at work and what happens if we do not show up to the office. Our actions impact others. Father Shay, in a sermon he preached a few years ago, mentioned the book I am Third. It is the story of Gale Sayers on whom the movie Brian’s Song is based on. “I am Third” is a reminder to always put God first, then others and then yourself. This became my mantra and I still think about it especially when Lee wants to do something that I do not want to do.
How we interact with each other is a part of social wellness and July celebrates this aspect of wellness. Do you play well with others? This has been on my mind a lot lately. To change the world will require me first changing myself and how I interact with others. Here is a list I have come up with that I hope to live by daily (as best as I can). Will you join me? What would you add to the list?
- Continue to repeat “I am Third” as a reminder to put others needs before mine (unless I am in danger of course)
- To take 3 deep breaths before going into a stressful situation (busy grocery store, driving in traffic, hanging with family (not mine of course but I know family can be a source for stress for many)
- Give others (even strangers) compliments
- To listen to understand (I did this just yesterday as a friend was telling me they are pro choice. I didn’t shut them out or lash out at them but I sat there quietly listening and it helped me to understand her view. She is also torn about things and I could really see God working in her. It was a neat experience and I think she just really needed me to listen as she talked things through)
- Avoid posting or commenting on sensitive, hot buttoned topics on social media
- Pray more
I know if we each work on our own list of how to interact with others in a more lovingly and respectful way our world will be a better place. I have hope. Yesterday, on my run I was thinking of all of this and I stopped at my favorite place to take in the sunrise. Well, the sky was dark, gloomy and cloudy and for a minute I questioned if I will even see the sunrise. I took a few more steps and looked again and saw the sun’s rays peeking through. This reminds me of God. There are times in life when I wonder what God is up to. Why is this happening? But I know God makes no mistakes and everything He has planned is for the good of His people and to glorify Him. His light will shine even on the gloomiest of days.