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My Broken Road to Grace: Post Nineteen (Let's Start and Epedemic of Kindness!)
There is a popular song out today that has a line that goes like this "Wrote a note said be back in a minute, bought a boat and I sailed off in it, don't think anybodies gonna miss me anyway." I love the song as it is primarily about living on or near the water, a place that my girlfriend and I dearly love. As I hummed it this morning while making my coffee however the last portion of the verse just quoted hit me full frontal! I wonder how many people making their way in the world today really feel that way?
Needless to say, we live in a time when there are many who feel their own importance often to a fault. Our society with the advent of social media undoubtedly has stumbled on to a way to create celebrities over night. Do something funny, sing a song well, figure out a way to make it appear as if a squirrel is playing piano and wham! You are an overnight sensation. We seem to be obsessed with fame and all that goes with it.
Today it seems there simply cannot be enough award shows, daily talk shows or sporting events to satisfy the insatiable desire of many who just want to see, hear or participate in more. Athletes, actors, pop stars, even politicians are getting into the act, now days appearing on talk shows, Saturday Night Live, and YouTube as a regular part of their schedule. Clearly these people are important to us and as such, we make them feel so.
Then comes a sad tragedy as in the death of Robin Williams last week and it becomes all to painfully clear that even with fame, recognition and money, all the trappings of success, there are those who still genuinely and deeply feel as if they don't matter. It is those situations that make us scratch our heads and furrow our brows as we ask the proverbial "why" because the pieces of the puzzle just don't fit. It is probable that those kinds of mysteries will always exist but what about the countless other, regular, non- celebrity people who struggle with feeling that way too?
Statistics tell us that more than 8 million Americans at least considered suicide last year and to my thinking, those numbers are simply astounding. Statistics also tell us that some 40% of Americans do not vote and while that may seem a radical departure from the topic here when you consider that it all ties together at the crux of an ever growing group of people who have come to believe that nothing matters, least of all them and what is taking place in their life, it is not as unrelated or random as it might first appear. You see, I believe that it starts out that way, apathy leads to hopelessness, hopelessness to despair, despair to depression and depression to, well you see the pattern.
In any case it is indisputable that there are large numbers of people living in the world today who simply feel as if they do not matter. For me this is a sad, even heart wrenching circumstance when I consider the fact that it just doesn't have to be that way. I told a friend sometime ago that I was concerned about the level of anger that seemed to exist just below the surface with so many Americans today and he wholeheartedly agreed. It seems that we as a people are all to quick to yell, blow the horn, or even give the finger to a driver who simply made an honest mistake. We take pleasure in the opportunity to lambast a waiter, store clerk or car wash attendant who unwittingly did something with which we disagree. As I question the why of that situation one thing appears clear. Many people are obviously angry.
Actions cause reactions, we learned that in school and when people are repeatedly the victim of negative actions they do and will react and it appears that those actions will manifest themselves in one of two ways. They will become angry and lash out or become introverted, withdraw and suffer quietly, feeling as if they are too stupid, too ugly, too fat, too old, and on and on to matter.
Thus the current epidemic of people having little or no self worth. If I asked you today if you knew someone was walking close to the edge of the precipice, would you willingly give them a shove, sending them into a free fall that would in all probability end their life. It is likely that your answer would be no. I would certainly hope so but what follows is the harsh reality. You don't know what is going on in the life of some random person you encounter, whether they are the victim of abuse, struggle with addiction, don't have enough to eat, are losing their home, I could go on and on and on.
Your rant, your chiding, your insult or derision could be for lack of a better metaphor "The straw that breaks the camel's back" in their life. What then do we do about this? How do we begin to combat such a terrible situation? We begin by doing as I always do and going to the scripture for help. People, all people are important to God. Jeremiah 1:5 says: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you." Do you think God would waste his time creating someone who did not matter, whom He simply did not love? That is never going to happen my friends, never has, never will.
So let us begin then by pointing to the obvious. If God, in his glory chooses to love all people why then can't we at the very least be nice to a clerk or the girl who makes our coffee? It isn't what I would classify as a major effort, won't cost you heavily in time, self respect, even thought but it just might make the difference in that person's life today that causes them to choose to go on as opposed to giving up.
Yes you won't get the chance to pull out your soap box, blow off steam, or put those choice words you have tucked away in your arsenal to work. You will however have the satisfaction of giving a smile and a kind word that just might make all the difference and the peace that comes along with that and I can assure you that is what God would have you do.
If you enjoyed this post. If it touched you today, Please share it through your other connections to social media that others might read it and be influenced by it as well. I know that God laid in on my heart today as surely as I live and breathe, I have prayed over it as I hit the post button and I would really like to see just how many people we can expose it to. Please understand, I have no designs on being an internet sensation but would it not be great if one day somewhere, something stuck that started an epidemic of kindness
Thank you for your help and God bless you all.