So now that I recognize that I have received and am receiving His blessings, how do I turn it around? How do I bless others?
I’ve tried that with lots of people, and I never got the returns on it I wanted. But then that’s quite the wrong attitude isn’t it? Nevertheless, I have taken that attitude at times, and it left me with nothing but frustration.
If I’m honest about it, I guess the Golden Rule encompasses my issue above. I don’t really want people to show me kindness just to keep score and call in a favor at some later date when I don’t remember indebting myself to them . . . so if don’t want that done to me. . . there’s the application of the Rule to Applying the Rule.
That seems so simple. Maybe too simple. Maybe so simple that people don’t do it. Even people who care about their fellow humans don’t do this all that much. Why is that?
Well, not everyone wants the same things and so it’s hard to tell anymore what might be seen as an act of kindness or an act of condescension. I regularly hear people say “What used to be a compliment is now ‘sexual harassment!'” I don’t know about that, really.
The problem is that most people can tell when you’re being kind to serve your own interests, as opposed to actually being kind. Females are some of those people, as are men, kids, and animals. So when you leer up and down at a female and say “lookin’ good!” she may take it as harassment. But when her BFF smiles and says the same thing, she won’t. Better yet, if her brother hugs her and says “lookin’ good sis!” she probably won’t take ill meaning from it either. People can often see and feel motives, even if they do misread them periodically.
This all sounds complicated, so I’ll bring it back to the point. Blessings. It is still possible in this delicate, sensitive age, to pass on blessings.
One idea is to LISTEN to others. So easy, but so rare. I don’t mean simply don’t interrupt others, although that is the first step. That’s too remedial for this post. When I say listen, I mean soak in what someone is saying instead of hearing the first few words and then spending the rest of their soliloquy piecing together your response. People will love you for it. And you will often find you don’t have to speak as much, thereby providing the possibility for argument.
Another idea is to couple HONESTY with COMPASSION. Not so easy, and still rare. From this corner of the world, in my study, it seems like people are more honest than ever. Like at some point everyone determined that the Leave It to Beaver parents would have actually argues in real life, and that Ricky and Lucy must have shared a bed at some point for there to be a Little Ricky, and that Father sometimes knew best because his wife explained it to him. Once society uncovered these truths, all hell broke loose and people decided to rebel and get honest about everything, and for gravy on top, they began to speak about everything as well. Well I’m not disagreeing with the need for honesty, but honesty and tactlessness are not the same. I submit that if we are going to be honest with one another, which we should, we should do so with compassion.
Now that I’ve said that, compassion does not equal political correctness. I’m not an advocate of everyone choosing the pronouns they would have applied to them so much as curbing the use of words like “idiot,” “fool,” “libtard,” and “extremist,” just because we disagree with someone.
So LISTENING and then if and when we speak, doing so not just with HONESTY but with COMPASSION. I bet that would bless some people. Maybe I’ll even try it myself.