We have just days left in this year. Are you ready to open your ledger and add up your score for 2013?
1. How did you respond to people who did not acknowledge your smile, your “Good morning!” or “Good evening!” or your hello?
Did you think, “Well, the heck with you!” or, did you realize that person may need your good wishes more than anyone you may meet the rest of the day? When our mind or heart is laden with troubles, real or imagined, we all may forget to acknowledge kindness.
2. What did you think of our elected officials in Washington?
Do you rant and rave about their decisions or lack thereof? Did you decide that they are all crooks? Say we should kick them all out? Or did you realize they are, in most cases, separated from family, spending untold hours studying legislation, trying to make sure they do what they think is best for our country and their constituents? Our elected officials certainly come under strong scrutiny and, sometimes, scorn, depending on your own political persuasion.
I admit I am guilty of having strong feelings about certain members of Congress, but I try to be as respectful of our public servants as I can. I try my best to believe they are each in office because they want to be caretakers of our citizens and help to make their lives better and safer; however, a certain group are more concerned about taking milk from babies, food from the less fortunate and other essentials from those who need them the most. For those who fall in that category I can only hope they find, somewhere inside, a kinder, more compassionate heart.
3. Have you thought about how and why we elevate people to hero status? Sports stars, musicians and other entertainers, politicians…then we hear some unproven gossip about them and we can’t wait to knock them off the pedestal we placed them on.
Most fallen heros, if asked about their transgressions, would probably ask, in return, the question: “Why did you praise me unrealistically only to take even more delight in destroying me?” I think at times we are largely becoming a people of vindictiveness and revenge.
4. Do you appreciate the server of your morning coffee – be it your wife or the waitress at your local diner? Did you thank them or did you just assume it was their duty; their job?
It is no one’s duty to serve you. And showing respect and thoughtfulness serves you both – by giving joy you get joy.
5. Each day we have kind thoughts, each day that we reach out to greet a stranger, each day we recognize that God refills our tank with love and compassion is a day that will be a happy one.