Nah… Not that type of love. Not the kind that you have for a significant other and want to spend the rest of your life with.
I’m talking about special love.
No. Not the kind that loves the face that only a mother could love, because you may be the mother. Neither am I referring to the kind that loves a mother despite her flaws, because you may be her child.
I’m talking about SPECIAL love. There is a type of love that you have to develop for those that you have no intention, no desire, or no incentive to love. Read More »
People, whether they be black, white, old, young or etc., have this almost inescapable nearsighted view of life in its totality. Because of this limited view of time and possibilities, we respond to situations based primarily on reason, experience (first and second-hand), and emotions. Those are very important, coming naturally through God-given growth, but dependent on them alone, life will be lived in a box… a mental box maybe, but a box nonetheless.
I am probably one of the worst at the nearsighted mindset; well I was anyway. The nearsighted point-of-view, is so limited that when someone says anything to you outside of the way you are seeing it at the moment, they sound insane or even patronizing. However, that person may fail to realize that you both share the same view, but instead finds it a lot more profitable to speak to you through hope. So that’s what I began to do; even if I see a situation that looks bad, sounds and has typically gone bad in the past, does not mean I should expect bad for this particular situation. Thinking that way builds a mental box around what I think the possibilities for my life are. It also, stunts the the luxury of hope and the necessity for faith.
Since this is the outlook I’ve chosen to take with my own life, I think that it would be selfish if I did not share the same outlook about those I come into contact with.
Proverbs 23:7 say, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”. Taking that scripture, I teach and preach good things to myself constantly.
Luke 6:31 reads, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise”. So if I have to for others, what I wish they would do for me, I will probably being doing a lot more positive talk than I would negative. My words will be centered more around encouraging and uplifting than they would be criticizing.
However, this mode of thinking will be damaged through negative actions (what Christians call sin). The more wrong you do, the harder it is to think positive or expect positive about anything. The harder it is for you to think positive, the harder it is to speak positive. The harder it is to speak positive, the harder it is to believe and hope for positive. The harder it is to hope and believe positive, the harder it is to have faith in anything. Hebrews 11:6 reads, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
So in short, sins and wrong doings will hamper your positive quality of life given to you as a gift from God. And if I’m living all willy-nilly causing my life to be hampered, I won’t be able to hope and believe positive, so that I can speak positive, because I expect positive, because I think positive for me, then I won’t be able to do it for you.
This is just my perspective on how much goes into a genuine kind word. If anyone brings bad news to me, you will be leaving with good news. It’s not that I am insensitive and don’t understand the situation at hand; but if I live under the limits of the my nearsighted mindset, I may never enjoy the freedoms that faith has to offer.
I left links to the whole chapters of the scriptures references above. Hopefully, you will have time to glance at them (particularly Hebrews 11 as it pertains more to this post) and see if they help you at all in your daily life and perspective in it.
Well, week 11 is done. I really enjoy this time of year, but it can get ridiculously busy — especially if you stick a major holiday in the middle of the week. I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving giving thanks to God and enjoying it with family and friends.
The week started with the Ferguson decision. Darren Wilson was held completely unaccountable for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. NFL football player and outspoken Christian, Benjamin Watson, shared his thoughts on the situation. I don’t think there were better words to describe the overall feeling of myself and probably a large percentage of people across the United States. There was also some CCN footage which was cut short for some unknown reason as well while he was explaining that the state of the nation may be because of the lack of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe it was coincidence. Nonetheless, I gained a role model as a Christian. If he can preach and stand by the Gospel as a professional football player in the spotlight and with millions to lose, if he becomes subject to attack for his views, there is no reason I should not be able to do the same with the little I have. I would rather stand for what I believe with the little I have, than to gain the whole world and compromise on Christ. If only one person is saved from the example that Benjamin Watson set on behalf of Michael Brown, his death will not have been in vain. However, we will continue to keep the city and families involved in our prayers.
On November 26th and 28th I wrote on Quality and Quantity. I had fun with these; discussing what writers have to deal with All. Of. The. Time! I got some good feedback from other writers who checked in on the topics. In the first post I wrote based on the fact that I prefer quality every time over quantity. The post was short; only slightly more that 600 words, but it took two hours for me to complete. However, the post I wrote to illustrate the disadvantage of quantity writing only took about forty minutes to complete. It was more words, but it was so poorly written that I almost recanted on the idea. I got excellent feedback though, and I believe it really did a great job at getting my point across.
I realized though, that I did not get the usual feedback from my regular readers. Then I realized I had I only addressed an audience of writers this week. That’s one of the downsides of having multiple interests though. There is never enough time to address everything. I learned a little bit from the other writers though, and I really enjoyed it — probably because I write. Another thing too, that I will probably address this week, is that writers have to read! That’s how we get better at our craft and stay inspired. Reading is just as necessary to a writer as writing is, and I think it’s overlooked most of the time. The problem is though, that it’s hard enough to find time to write, so unfortunately, I may have to take some time off just to catch up on reading.
Well that is all for this week. I can never thank you all enough for reading, the encouragement and support. I am really looking forward to 2015 and the support that I get from everyone on a weekly basis makes anything seem possible. I had someone tell me this week that they read the entire Thirty Seconds Ago… series. Even though it may not be the core of who I am as a writer, the fact that I captured their attention and held it throughout the entire series means a lot to me; and I appreciate them telling me that.
Thank you guys for another great week. Remember to keep an open perspective next week and look to show some compassion and love. You may change someone else’s perspective on life with just a smile or a kind word.
Earlier this week, I started writing about the status and progress of Black American men. I’m not even sure what prompted the thought at this point, but I wanted to know whether there was any chance of the improvement of black men. When I say improvement, I would like for that to refer to the mental condition of all of us as a whole; a healing of the social stigmas that we have been conditioned to live by. Considering the fact that it would take generations upon generations to reverse what generations upon generations have done, I settled for the idea of hoping for the change of how the Black American man is viewed. Even though, this would take long as well, I believe it would be a great start to a more permanent change within the minds of black men.
Typically, I try to keep my topics more open, hopefully to broaden the perspective of anyone who may read no matter what ethnicity they come from — But on so many levels, who you are, is who you look like. I am a black man and there is only so much that I can say without exclusively referring to all black men. In the general American eye, we are all the same, and for me to want progress for myself, is to want progress for us all. So even though everything (as far as I am concerned) falls under the umbrella of being a Christian, I, being just a man, feel compelled to address more specific people, even though God sees us all the same.
My core thought process of the entire issued though, was based this theory: All of us want better; all of us want to do better; but not all of us have seen better. Therefore, we have nothing better by which to model ourselves.
Then handy-dandy Google, absorbed a few hours of my time. I came across a video that took place in 1994 of a convention for black men. At that particular session I watched, there were approximately 13,000 men on the inside of a large church and another 18,000 outside surrounding the building. The leaders at this convention were not catering to their egos, or telling them of blessings soon to come. The leaders there were not telling them that everything would be alright. These men were being told the importance of raising families, caring for their women and loving one another, instead of acting out violence towards one another. The crowd was filled with young men who were extremely receptive to what they were hearing. This made me feel that whatever progress had to be made, could be made; until I realized 1994 was twenty years ago. I enjoyed maybe an hour of hope and writing, before I realized “1994”. After just a few minutes more of thinking about all the detriment that has been done since then, I gave up and scrapped the essay.
The deterioration that I’m referring to is not limited to blacks only though; it has affected the entire nation. However, blacks might have taken the longest strides towards progress, while at the same time, taking even larger strides backwards. We have made the most progress in the fields of entertainment, which in most instances glorifies lives of crime and degradation. I am not faulting the artists, and producers, and actors, and directors (completely), but when this media is passed along without the proper checks and balances, we turn and act it out in real life. So the success for one can indirectly turn into failure for thousands. To add a bit of validity to my point, how many times have car accidents and school shootings by adolescent boys and young men been attributed to or linked to video games? Well then why can’t movies and music do the same to the actions of our young people?
With all of that being said, let me explain why I am writing this now. Today after Sunday service, my brother and I stood talking in the parking lot maybe fifteen feet from the sidewalk. From one end of the sidewalk, two young, dreadlocked black men walked towards three slightly younger black men coming in the opposite direction. The sidewalk is barely wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side on. As the two groups came closer to each other, meeting adjacent to where my brother and I were standing, I became quiet… as did my brother. I’m not sure what my brother was thinking, but I was thinking, “It’s about to go down.” That lets me know that my mind is no better than that of general America towards my own people. I expected there to be at least an exchange of words due to simple sidewalk territory. Nonetheless, I was blessed to see my ignorance proven wrong. Without a spoken word, both parties aligned themselves to smoothly pass by each other without incident. But yet and still, in my ignorance, I thought, “That was close.” So to combat that layer of corrupted thinking, one of the guys in the duo turned and addressed the younger trio and said, “Hey guys, I really appreciate you moving to the side like you did. Most people might not have done that.” The younger group thanked them for their gratitude and continued with looks of accomplishment on their faces. I could tell that with those kind words, they would be more eager to be courteous when the next opportunity presented itself. Now I’m left standing there in amazement with a sense of stoopid that I’m almost too ashamed to admit. Even though, I had just walked out of church, neither my heart nor mind showed any hope of common courtesy between these young men. I was shown that it is a lot easier to have faith in my mind that it is with your heart, and in my heart, I did not expect better from my own brothers.
My brother and I chased down the older two guys and told them how much it had encouraged us to see them do what they did. They replied, “You have to give, to get. We show that to get that.” At that point, it was confirmed with me that all you need is a good heart to make a change. Those guys had hearts of gold. I believe I was allowed to see that to encourage me not to give up on what I hope and pray for when it comes to my people, specifically. If things continue in the direction that they are going, things may not get better, but if everyone gives up hope, things definitely will not get any better. I feel 100% better about black men than I did last week, all because of that. I feel like there is hope for a few more black women because of that. Because of what I witnessed today, I feel better about the future of our families and the progression of our people; not monetarily, but in standards and integrity. This was something that let me know that the condition of our men is not completely lost, and with enough effort, their lives can be improved, and their souls can be saved through love and Jesus Christ.
I know a lot of people. Between my family, my friends and their families, coworkers, classmates and whoever else, I know a lot of people. I’m sure the same goes for most. If I had to write out the names of everyone I knew, I would be writing for hours… And would still forget a few names. Now out of all those people that I know, there a quite a few of them that I know pretty well. From that few that I know pretty well, many of them I know intimately.
What I have recently noticed about most of the people I know, and myself, is that we have pretty good lives.
If we had to sit back and consider the things that matter, we would actually have to put more effort into finding something to complain about than we realize; at least from the Christian point of view. From the general point of view, most of us are healthy, with somewhere to live, food to eat, too many clothes and surrounded by loved ones. With those things we should all learn to be content with, Christian or not. The other things that we may find ourselves complaining about are only additives to what the enjoyment of life should be based on. Those things are usually only more of what we already have, bigger of what we already have, or even slightly different from what we already have. If you can’t learn to be happy with those basic things, you will never be happy.
As a Christian though, we have so much more than the comfort of shelter, food, clothes, health and loved ones. Like I said before, those things are more than enough looking from the general point of view, but from a Christian perspective, our comfort should extend past the point of even losing all those things. With God being the source of all of our joy, our well-being, our futures and every possible outcome that our future has to offer, we shouldn’t even worry… Ever… About anything. I know that this is easier said than done, but we should make it common practice to check our complaints as they come to mind, and give thanks for what we have. So often we lose sight of the good things that we’ve been blessed enough to see, and complain about meaningless nothings. Instead of complaining about not making enough money, try being grateful for having a job. I guarantee your quality of life will increase with just a few minor changes in your perspective.
I was actually having this conversation with someone not too long ago when they pointed out that all of this is easy for me to say because of the life that I grew up with. I grew up with both parents, a bunch of siblings, hosts of aunts, uncles and cousins, a good church and always had whatever I needed; maybe not all I wanted, but everything I needed. Without hesitation, I agreed to his point. I grew up pretty carefree. Unfortunately, there could be a couple drawbacks to explain that. First, maybe I’m the type of person that could not handle any other type of life. Maybe growing up in a single-family household would have caused me to err in ways that other people did not. Maybe I’m one of the people that God knew that anything less than the life he gave me, would be too much for me to live a life fit to be called a Christian. To be completely honest, I haven’t even done as well as I should have to begin with; so it would be very difficult to try to take credit or judge someone else. So if you’ve lived a nice easy-flowing life, consider the fact that maybe that’s all you could have handled before boasting on it.
Another way to look at it is that maybe I will need every good memory, every good thought and all the easy, good times that I have ever known in order to get through whatever obstacles that may lie ahead of me. Now, I pray that this is not the case, but He has already promised that I wouldn’t be tempted above that which I could bear. So if I were to find myself in times of hardship, I should be able to be at peace knowing that God will see to it that I am taken care of. This type of confidence won’t come by simply wanting it though. I will have to be confident that I have lived accordingly to be taken care of by God. This does not go for just me, because I know quite a few people who haven’t seen much hardship in life. We who haven’t should be thankful for that and be ever conscious of the fact that it is not by our will or our family history or anything else that has allowed such comfort. If we recognize that it’s God holding things together now, we can trust that He will hold them together if they ever seem to be falling apart.
Basically, all I’m saying is that, if you have a phone or computer to read this from, you are probably in pretty good shape. Be thankful for it. I am not a fan of clichés, but “it could always be worse.” As for anyone who reads this and are not given over to the Salvation of Jesus Christ, there is a peace of mind and a fulfillment of life that can only be experienced as a Christian; and it maybe something that you want to look into. As for anyone who reads this and is a Christian, try not to get lost in the negatives and the have nots of life. Focus on what God has already provided you with and what he has kept you from, even when you were undeserving. I have been living every day with the understanding that the joy of the Lord is my strength. So no matter how bleak or discomforting of a situation I may find myself in, I know that my hope, faith, and future lies within God and he will not let me down.
My perspective to you… So if we ever meet in person, hopefully my optimism won’t get on your nerves. 🙂
Being proud of what you do can save you a lot of energy and stress over a lifetime. I feel as though no one should spend time doing anything they cannot do so proudly. In order to do that though, it takes more practice and determination than what it sounds like at first. When you decide that you are going to do something and set a goal and a plan to get it accomplished, there will be more distractions that have never presented themselves to you.
Proud: Feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or credible to oneself
Now it would seem that being proud of what you do or what you stand for would be fairly simple; But that’s not always the case. The first thing that you have to find out is who you are. Find out what your passion is and what it is that you do! If you have to write out a list and number them in order of importance, then do that. Let your number one God. Christ should be your center and will hold the rest of the priorities in place. That is where the necessary balance will take place, because there is a very thin line between being proud and being arrogant. Humility is a must. One thing that I have always been taught, is that you can humble yourself by giving glory and honor where it is due, instead of wanting all the credit for oneself. Or instead, you can enjoy a pedestal seat until your own ego and reputation outgrows your character. When that happens, humiliation is around the corner, and it will be especially difficult to accept correction and change. Humility can be learned anytime, but the sooner the better. Learning a lesson can be an inconvenience if you’re a slow learner.
Learn to deal with being different. If you have a knack for cars, working with your hands and enjoy fixing things, you may make a great mechanic. That may sound silly, and because of that silliness, someone will deny themselves a life that they would really enjoy. Why? Because “No one wants to be known as a lackluster mechanic.” That’s an opinion that someone who is not in your shoes may have… And if someone is not in your shoes, do not let them dictate where or how you walk. Everyone is different. If your different is a bit more different than your peers, that only means you have a larger area to grow, less congestion, job security or whatever you want to call it. This could possibly be the hardest part of learning to be proud of yourself though; being different. Everyone will have an opinion on what you should do, how you should do it, where, and why you should do whatever it is you decide to do. At the end of the day, your vision will have done a complete 180 degree turn from what you had in mind when you started. If fixing cars does not work for you, let it be because you found out that it wasn’t what you thought it was. Try it. Experience it. Never let it be because you were convinced that it was not a good idea before you even attempt it. If you are convinced that it wasn’t the best choice before you try it, at least let it be because to talked to another mechanic. A dentist can’t a provide you with the proper information you need for the life you are trying to live as a mechanic— which leads me to my next point:
Surround yourself with likeminded people, doing what you are doing, and going where you are going. It’s easy to lose focus of your goals when you are surrounded by people with different goals. If becoming a mechanic is your goal, but you go to class with aspiring dentists everyday, at the end of the semester, you will be more dentist than mechanic. The bad part about that is, because you did not fully commit to neither, you will in turn be neither dentist nor mechanic. I’m using dentists and mechanics as examples, but you can apply whatever it is that you want to be to the same principles, whether it be a Christian, relationships, careers or whatever.
I’ll give you an example: I was talking to a very cool guy a while ago; older guy, but cool. While discussing family and marriage and all, he told me that the best thing he ever did for his marriage was to get a side-girl. I knew then that, I could not take any marital advice from him. I mean, really?! I think we’ll stick to the sports conversations.
Once you make up your mind what you are going to do and start on that path with likeminded people, you can stand tall against whatever fears you might have faced before. Fear and confidence do not get along together. Without confidence, you can’t be proud of what you do or who you are. You have to get past your fears and self image. If you have a failed attempt, let that failed attempt, be a lesson learned, not a reminder that you failed. Let the failure stay in the past, and bring the lesson learned forward to further your progress. Never let the past scare you into an attempt not to try again. Practice and redo and then practice and redo again.
Once you follow these steps (in whatever order you may), and put in the time, you will be able to stand and be proud of your work. If someone has something in your field better than yours, you won’t feel inadequate, but instead will set a new goal since you are already learning and growing. The feeling of inadequacy only comes when you have not done what you know you can to excel. I am convinced that if find your gift and purpose in life and wholeheartedly put in the necessary, you will accomplish what you set out to do.
Keep God first
Find people like yourself
Deny fear and failure
Be proud! Announce yourself as what you do, not what you are. Speak it as though it is; until it is. BE PROUD!
Over the last few years, experts, and media and everyone else in between has provided an answer for every possible relationship problem there is. However, divorce rates continue to climb, and marriage rates continue to decline. So what’s the problem? Why isn’t all of this advice working? Why aren’t all of these books and movies improving the situation?
It’s because these solutions are only patches to the problem. Most of the time they are solutions that simply cater to the moods of individuals to keep them happy; they are no fixes to the founding basics of the relationship. The foundation of any relationship is what is going to hold it together; and if the foundation is not right, then guess what? “It isn’t going to work.” I put that in quotes because I literally just said it out loud while I was typing.
With that being said, there are two pillars that must be in place before a relationship can work the way that it should. This first one is Christ. I thoroughly believe that if you have a relationship that is not founded on the teachings of Christ, your relationship is always on the verge of failure, despite what it may look like.
Welcome to Perspective Park, where 99% of my perspective is from a Christian Perspective. The other percentage is from the fact that I am a randomly awkward individual that loves french fries.
I say that to simply clear the air about how I come to the conclusions that I do. You don’t have to agree with them, and your feedback is always welcomed. However, on this particular topic, the statistics in America shows that even if you do not agree with me, does not change that fact that you will probably be divorced or continue being single anyway. So your opposition on this matter is futile.
The second part of the foundation needed to stabilize relationship statuses in America is Man. Simple as that. If men would be men, that would resolve just about everything.
Within a relationship, it is expected that the man knows exactly where, when, how and why the couple is going wherever they are headed in their life’s journey together. If you are going to have a successful relationship, it is best that the man have set this criteria even before he finds a partner to travel with. The man should be able to meet a woman and explain to her what his plans are for hislife. He should be planning his life to accommodate his better half even before he meets her. I understand that this is not always the case and a lot of times relationships will work even if two people just happen to end up together. However, within that scenario, the man still has to take the lead and steer the relationship.
For this to happen, the man has to be goal oriented. He has to have a purpose and destination set for himself, and he must be striving to get there. Men within the Christian circles like to quote “We are more than conquerors” when it comes to accomplishing goals. Even though that is taking the scripture out of context to apply it to material gain, if that’s what you are going to use it for… Get to conquering! Go and prepare a kingdom to bring a queen into… Conqueror. A lot of times when it comes to a relationship, the man only wants to work hard enough to attain the prize, and once he has her, complacency sets in. You can’t win a woman over and then just stop working at everything. Or guess what? “It’s not going to work!” When she comes home and you are sitting on the sofa in a tank top, with one hand in a bag of chips and the other in your pants, it’s going downhill from there. She is going to quietly walk past you as you, greet her with, “Sup, babe.” She is going to go and reevaluate her decision on choosing you as a leader. Her realization will probably be summed up as, “Alexander the Fake”.
This even goes back to whether or not it’s a big deal on who makes the most money. For the longest time I thought women were lying when they said that they could care less if they brought home more than their man. Now looking at it from another perspective, I can see how they wouldn’t care. I woman won’t care about that if her man is continuously working and growing to become a better man and develop himself. However, if the man is just complacent with the woman making more, and is just riding the financial wagon that she’s pulling, she’s going to get tired of that. Then when she starts giving you demands, you are going to want to pull the “I’m the man” card. But what have you done to establish that position? Your wife or girlfriend would love to see you grow into a more nurturing provider. She wants to be taken care of and pampered; it’s her nature. You can’t just accept that she makes more than you, and cough it up to, “If she’s cool with it, I’m cool with it.” It shows her your lack of ambition… It’s not about money. I guarantee that she will be cheering you on for your promotion at The Fry Guy so that she can keep more money in her pocket.
Another thing is to be aware that the more you want out of life, the more work you have to put into the criteria of a relationship. A man has to know what he needs from his counterpart for him to be a better leader. He can be the best leader in the world, but if he attaches to someone who doesn’t compliment him, then guess what, “It’s not going to work!” He’s going to get tired of her. Nonetheless, that is why the woman cannot be held responsible for setting the standards in the relationship, because if she starts to realize that she’s making all of the decisions and keeping things together, “It’s not going to work.” She wants to be a support for a solid pillar of a man; not the other way around. The best thing to do when you realize the foundation of your relationship may be shaky, is to stop right then and there to fix what’s wrong. Stutter stepping and second guessing only breeds uncertainty for both people, which it the most dangerous poison in something being built on trust.
A man has to know who he is at all times. Certainty is his strength, but it will be his wife’s security. His character should be synonymous with confidence and wisdom. By the time he is ready to carry the weight of a relationship, he should have set a reputation for himself that no matter what happens, I can handle it. If he can be all of these things, most women who think they have problems submitting to a man will no longer feel that way. He will have provided her the security she needs to love, honor and obey him, by simply taking care of all her needs before she even got there. Even if they start together young, he has to be able to consistently reassure her that she is forever safe with him, and they will be fine. Sometimes it takes a failed relationship or two to realize these things, but if you didn’t learn anything, the relationship was worthless to begin with. The more you learned from it, the more meaningful it was.
We need men to teach men though. Especially in the black communities, the lack of father figures is really the biggest problem we have. Every problem that our society faces, could be resolved with proper leadership from honorable men; not just in relationships. Relationships is probably the most important one though, because that’s where the family stems from; and everyone knows that family is the backbone of any society.
Men should be able to be proud of what they are and how they take of business. Father’s Day is for fathers, but men should have a day when they brag on fulfilling the requirements of being an honorable leader. You don’t need children for that. Unfortunately, that would probably be called chauvinist in today’s world. The only way I can brag on being a man is in a Dos Equis or Old Spice commercial. I don’t want to be a satirical man. I want to be a man the way that God intended men to be; dominant, yet loving. Bold and kind. Courageous, but humble.
I know some men like that – and they all have happy wives and families. When I sit and talk to them, they never tell me how easy it was though. It always took constant work and self discipline to set good examples and role models for those looking up to them. Sometimes it meant sleepless nights and double-shifts, but they stuck to it and learned to be the men they are now.
So overall, I feel that the advice columns, movies, books, Facebook memes and everything could be eradicated simply by men stepping up to the plate. We need to learn to accept responsibility for our mistakes and work them out as an example to those who we expect to follow us. We need to learn to neither bow, bend or break, but to be solid, secure and protect what we stand for. Most importantly, when all is said and done, and life has turned out just right, give glory and honor to God for the knowledge and wisdom to accomplish it.
It’s intimidating sometimes, but it’s just a shrug of the shoulders these days. A man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do.
Sometimes when I look at humanity on a global scale, the problems that we face seem to be insurmountable.
I stand by that opinion with the notion that the reason I may feel this way is simply because I am American. This is the only land that I know, and I am proud to call this my home. However, I cannot help but notice the societal issues that should have been resolved long ago; especially by a country that is widely considered to be the most affluent on the planet.There are millions of people living below the poverty line here, but at the same time we have millionaires by the thousands. We enjoy the luxuries of buffets and running water while people starve, and children go to school everyday just to eat lunch. People drive huge SUVs and live in five and six bedroom (and more) houses, while orphanages are packed to capacity. Now I’m not saying that it is the sole responsibility of the wealthy to fix these issues, but I believe that there should be a personal sense of accountability to do so by every individual. I believe the insurmountable task is actually solving global-scale issues before solving the ones in the nation, and the individuals in that nation.
In the America we live in, everything is about securing as much as possible for yourself. We work hard and save every dime to retire to the beaches of the Key West. That’s basically the summarized version of what we call success. It rarely includes anyone besides those who are directly related to us. I know that this does not apply to every single person, but I am not afraid to say that it can easily be the mindset of 70% of the population.
Government officials do the best they can do by attempting to regulate taxes fairly among the rich and the poor, but then they turn around to steal the very same money. Large corporations do the best they can to create more jobs, but then they turn around and outsource those jobs overseas to maximize profit. The banking industry does the best it can to assist hardworking citizens in securing financial stability for their future, but then it turns around and lose the money in Ponzi schemes. So after all of this, the working man finally gets his hands on a few hard-earned dollars. It is hard to share after all you have witnessed is lying and stealing. The culture breeds attitudes that express statements like, “dog-eat-dog world” or “get yours like I got mine”.
Some people are homeless because they made bad decisions; I get that. However, there are countless homeless people that bad situations just happened to fall on. How often have you tried to differentiate between the two? Or do you treat them all the same? If homelessness is not your soft spot, then maybe you can tell me how many children deserve to be orphaned. It’s a really unfortunate dilemma and the solution that I have for it is so cliché that I don’t think people even consider it anymore. I think that’s because the word is rarely defined in the context where you have to place yourself in the position to do it.
We all need to love more.
Vague, right? Well, I can explain.
I have always looked for opportunities to help those in need and look forward to doing it more and on larger scales in the future. Whether it be adopting a child or simply feeding a man tomorrow at lunch, it will take love to do it the right way. Since becoming more involved in catering to these needs, I have developed a formula which makes it easy for me to love just about anyone. I’m not perfect and I’m no genius, so this formula may not work for everyone in every situation like it does for me, but it may help you understand my point a bit better.
In order to love, one must first have perspective. Perspective is defined as the ability to view things in their true relations or relative importance. If we could all look at a person and his or her life situations, considering the outcome of that life without positive intervention, maybe we would then realize the things we strive for everyday may not be as significant as we think they are. As a person of Christian faith, what is really important is a person’s life and soul. So if you have those two bases covered, you should be able to share – at least a little of – everything else.
The second thing that you need is compassion, which is defined as a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Once we get past the views of “Me, my four and no more”, we can develop a sense of urgency towards those outside of our circles. You will feel a need to help those just like you help those within your circles. At this point, compassion has grasped you, and you will do whatever you can to help whoever needs it. Now once you actually act on compassion and make a conscious decision to help someone in need, you have just committed an act of love.
The world cannot and will not fix itself. America cannot and will not fix itself. We as individuals must take it upon ourselves to change our views towards humanity and change it all one perspective at a time. Everyone can’t give a million dollars to charity, and some of us can’t bear the Christmas season at an orphanage or a children’s hospital, but all of us can do something.