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As much as I try to be a good and positive person, I cannot help but admit that I have some character flaws. I love to rant. I love to give advice. I love to point out mistakes. Well, really the last one is more of an obsession/compulsion than something I love. Ask anyone that knows me well, I have often been entirely too vocal regarding things in the world or in others behavior that are not correct. I’m the one sitting at a conference or seminar and hearing a word mispronounced have to say the word correctly out loud. You know me. You will likely turn and give me a disapproving look while at the same time applauding me internally because you also caught the mistake.
Life has taught me that the best way to affect real change in the world around me is to set the example of what I would like to see. Many Christians will regard this as the Golden Rule, and surely it does match Jesus’ words found in the Bible at Matthew 7:12, “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them.” I can’t help but think that if this one simple rule were followed, the world would be a very different place. Look through the news headlines on any given day. Imagine how the story would have read with the main subject having applied this rule.
We hear the rule repeated often, whether it is sitting attentively on Sunday morning while the Bible is read or in the message of popular films like Pay It Forward or the Love Comes Softly series or shows like When Calls the Heart. (All three are excellent if you haven’t seen them already.) How, though, can you and I really apply this concept?
One way is to look for ways to help others. Are you walking in or out of a store or business? If others are nearby, take a moment and hold the door for them. Do you see the older woman loading her car with groceries? Offer to return her shopping cart for her. Do you have a friend suffering a need but unwilling to ask for help? Give some help anyway.
Creating positive change in the world is about action and not inaction. Yes, it is important to make sure we are not doing bad things or making the lives of other worse. Equally important, though, is to make sure we are actively seeking ways to make the world a better place. Look around the area you are right now, whether at home or in public somewhere. Is there something on the floor or ground that needs to be picked up and thrown away? Is there someone nearby that is having a bad day and needs a smile or a hug? (It’s probably not a good idea to go around hugging strangers, but you get the general idea.) At home, is there something that needs to be done, like taking out the garbage, washing the dishes or doing some laundry? Even if it is not something that it your responsibility, #BeTheGood and do something to help out.
One of the things that had made my dear wife the most happy was when she came home after a long day and found I had surprised her by making dinner or finishing the laundry. Those gifts meant more to her than any jewelry, flowers or chocolate ever did.
Of course, none of us can force others to change. Any attempt at change will only be temporary if it is not in the individual’s heart. So, I challenge each of you as I challenge myself, #BeTheGood you want to see in the world. Do something today to make someone’s life better or easier.
Wouldn’t it be great if #BeTheGood were the biggest trending hashtag of the year? And wouldn’t it be even better if that was because people were not only using the hashtag, but more importantly, were creating change in the world by the good they are doing? After you have done your good for today, come back and leave a comment of your experience to encourage the rest of us to also #BeTheGood.
Until next time…