(As printed in the Herald Journal, Jan. 1, 2013)
Turning the page on a calendar shouldn’t be the motivation to change one’s life but, for tradition’s sake, perhaps being kind could be given consideration as a resolution for 2013. The fast-paced, competitive nature of our lives tends to push many of us toward the “survival of the fittest” mode. Religions tend to preach otherwise. One fortunate thing about us as humans is that we have the ability to change our attitudes, and our actions.
Ponder this for a moment. Reflect back on the exposure given to us via many shows on television and other media information sources. We see judges who ridicule people for their attempts at cooking or singing. Being informed of national and world events is important, but consider the radio talk-show hosts who deliver their personal opinions by using contention as their prime method of delivery. Their purpose seems to be to stir people to anger. There are also certain authors of “letters to the editor” who continually berate others because of differing views on politics, religion, education, etc. Are all wars fought over liberty, or do greed and hatred play a part? Are we all actually living on Survivor Island with the intention of eliminating the competition?
It’s been said that there are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all members of the Crew!
I’ve often felt that comments dealing with religious scripture or doctrine should be confined to the pages of the Faith section of the newspaper. Forgive me for violating that philosophy for a moment as I quote a few words to assist with the being kind resolution: Proverbs 18:6 “A fool’s lips enter into contention…”; Romans 12:18 “…live peaceably with all men”; 1 Cor. 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”; 3 Nephi 11:29 “…he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but of the devil…”; Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers…”
The words “ponder and reflect” were suggested above. The next one needs to be “act”. Change the station when the radio or TV commentator is using contentious words. If you are a regular reader of letters to the editor, look at the author’s name before reading his comments. You know the ones who always try to stir people to anger. Ignore them. Don’t even read their comments. Silence does not mean consent or agreement.
I’m not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand, but rather that we act with intelligence and control. Let’s try to remedy a situation by being kind whenever possible. Realistically, and unfortunately, there are unique times when kindness will not work. History has proven that. But consider giving kindness a shot as a resolution for 2013. If you need another incentive, watch the TV program entitled “What Would You Do?” on ABC. Host John Quinones uses hidden cameras to record the actions of bystanders observing ethical dilemmas dealing with bullying, racism, dishonesty, etc. This program is changing lives. And, for those who have a foundation in religious belief, we’re all on camera every day. Peace, Ron H.