Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jewels On Your Crown In Heaven

The easiest route any of us can take is to pop off at the least little thing. It's easily done and we see it on blogs, at work and in our media every day. The wiseguy attitude as personified by popular culture is viewed as an acceptable response to all questions and concerns. I admit, I can be pretty quick with a quip, although I do try to put some thought into things. But there are those out there who simply spout off because they truly think they are the belly button of the universe and all things should bow down to their will.

Back a few years ago-okay many years ago before cable-I would be bored on Sunday and would watch some of the television preachers. One that caught my attention was an African American preacher who talked about how every good act was a "jewel on your crown in heaven". I really liked that imagery then and I like it now. I like the idea of shining like the stars and becoming dazzling in spirit.

So here's my proposition-for the Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday season but also for all seasons-stop before you speak. It's easy to get offended over the most petty and cursory of slights, but quite often when out in public, individuals stop seeing working people as people. I have worked in retail, my kids do currently, and you would be shocked at what passes for normal in even the more upscale retail stores. Could we stop seeing all other people as drones and begin seeing them as people? That sales clerk may have learned her job will go away after the season. That man who cut you off could be heading for a job interview. That kid who put something on top of your bread could be helping to pay for rent. You don't know what they are dealing with-all you know is that you are mad. Ask yourself this-if the world ended right at that moment, would whatever is bugging you really matter? Choosing to defer your momentary anger or to act graciously when slighted is a sign of being a true adult. Lashing out in anger is the act of a self-pitying child. Don't you want jewels on your crown?

By the way, this doesn't meant we can't disagree because everyone has the right to their own opinions. And this doesn't mean we can't complain when we are honestly injured or shorted. But the way we choose to do these things make up far more of the measure of a person than what car they drive or where they live. Reach out, seek those who need a smile, compliment those who work hard and get little in return, act politely even when others do not and find opportunities to respond in a positive way even when you are the injured party. The ability to do this is called Grace. But if you prefer, consider each selfless act another bright and shiny jewel on your crown in heaven.

No comments: