It seems you can’t have the Mother Theresa’s without the Adolph Hitler’s. I have often heard some variation of the phrase “I hate people.” People are annoying. They get under our skin, and we want to punch them in the face. Honestly though, I question the human race’s ability for goodness when I read demeaning comments online. I question society’s future when I hear of one of my youth group kids being bullied at school: her artwork being ripped up and thrown on the ground like garbage.
But yet, I still hear stories of people who gave all they had for another. I have experienced the simple kindness of a stranger buying my coffee; it’s a “small” act, yet still has meant so much to me that day. I have seen someone give to another simply because they wanted to. An unsolicited compliment or encouragement can be medicine for the soul.
The beauty and horror of the human disposition and action lies in each person’s free will to make conscious choices. Yes, we are all affected by our environment, upbringing, the things that have been done or happened to us; if we are honest with ourselves, we would realize that we choose where we go, what we do, and who we become. How else would stories exist of those, despite all odds, reached out and touched greatness? They gritted their teeth and made a choice each day, each minute, and those seemingly small insignificant choices propelled their entire life.
We live in a society of victims. No one seems to want to take responsibility for their actions. Everyone is offended by someone, and everyone is apologizing for something. I wonder what the world would look like if we all took responsibility for our words, for our actions, and if we also had a bit more grace for our fellow man, who like ourselves is flawed, affected, and mean, but ultimately desperate for love and acceptance.
What we do and how we respond to life, eventually becomes who we are. Who do we want to be?
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one, wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver