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Love, Peace, Hope, Love – Create A Better Future

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I’ve noticed in my life that most of our problems are self-made. We created our own problems by wasting precious energy on hating, bringing one another down, and worrying.

What’s the point?

Worrying about what has already happened will not change the past, and being anxious about the future will not make things turn out the way you want them to.

And bringing one another down? It’s ridiculous! Help one another up! We’re all in this together, as the human race, and we MUST help one another. It’s all about love. Love one another! Tell people you love them!

Me? I tell my friends and family I love them every chance I get. Strangers? I hug them. I let old ladies kiss my check. I spend half an hour talking to veterans because they need to talk to someone. I open the door for moms juggling children and groceries. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I make small talk while waiting in line. I wish every a great day. I pray for people – even those people who don’t believe in the God I believe in. I refuse to get offended when someone offers me a blessing or says they will pray for me and worship a God different than mine. I LOVE EVERYONE!

Black? White? Hispanic? Asian? Middle Eastern? Native American? Mixed? Blue? Purple?

You can’t change what you were born as, and why would you want to? I LOVE YOU!

Muslim? Buddhist? Catholic? Baptist? Greek Orthodox ?  Jehovah’s Witness? Mormon? Atheist? Rastafari? Wiccan? Shaman? Pentecostal? Methodist? Seventh Day Adventist? Taoist? Jewish? Islamic? Something else?

You have the right to believe whatever you want. I LOVE YOU!

Black haired? Blonde? Brunette? Red head? Green eyed? Blue eyed? Brown eyed? Hazel eyed? Gray eyed? Violet eyed? Black eyed? Tall? Short? Fat? Skinny? Completely normal? Totally insane?

That’s great! Diversity is fantastic. I LOVE YOU!

Pro-life? Pro-choice? Gay? Straight? Democrat? Republican? Anarchist? For gay rights? Against them?

I may not agree with your beliefs, but…I LOVE YOU ANYWAYS!

Why can’t we just do this all the time, in our daily lives? The Bible preaches acceptance, love, kindness, faith, hope. Common sense dictates that if we’re good to others, they’ll be good to us. Science has proven that those who are happy, are more productive and live longer. Being happy means letting go of those grudges, that hate.

Hate is a killer. Anxiety, stress, they are all byproducts of hate or fear. What do we have to fear? Death? Embarrassment? Being shot down? Why let those fears stop us from doing what we should?

Here’s a good example:

The other day my husband and I were in a rush to pick my sister-in-law up from her job, after running late at the grocery store – which just so happens to be a good half hour from our house. We’re hurrying home and we notice that traffic is backed up. This isn’t such a strange occurrence, as it was a weekend at the shore, but we noticed something was different. This traffic was so backed up because there was a car sitting in the turning lane, unmoving. Outside of the car was an elderly black man with a shock of white hair. He was on his cell phone, popping open his front hood, shaking his head. People are zooming past, not even sparing him a look.

My husband and I were raised by parents who believed  in helping those in need. This situation truly touched me for a special reason, but we’ll get into that in a moment. So, we swung into a nearby parking lot and ended up meeting up with the only other car to stop and help. We, thankfully, were able to get the man’s car jumped and into a nearby parking lot over a period of time. At least he was out of the main highway, where he could have gotten hit, while he waited for a tow truck.

But what if we hadn’t stopped to help? Because we were in a hurry? Because he was black? Because he was old? Because we just didn’t want to? He could have easily been hit, and his blood would have been on our hands, because we COULD have stopped – and we HAD the tools to get him out of the road.

Why was this situation so special to me? Because it was my way of paying back someone very similar who helped my husband and I about half a decade ago. Let me tell you about it…

My daughter was a newborn. Our only vehicle was a beat-up  Chevy S10, and we lived in the middle of nowhere with my dad and my step mom. When I say the middle of nowhere, I mean that the nearest area of “civilization” was a gas station… approximately fifteen minutes away, through woods and vast areas of nothingness. That was just the gas station. The grocery store was much further way, but that’s besides the point. The big point is that if you didn’t purchase gas before heading home, you were screwed.

Unfortunately, we didn’t always have a lot of money as young, new parents, and we had to often test our luck and run on fumes to the gas station. Most of the time, our luck was good. One day, however, our luck was not so good. We broke down about a 7.5 minute drive from either my dads house or the gas station. This wouldn’t have been a huge deal  – we could have made it back to either in half an hour or so. But we had an infant with us.

The temperature was around 100 degrees on this day – maybe, at the lowest, 95.  Our choices were to either bake in the truck, or bake on the road. Several people passed us, and no one stopped. I was on the verge of tears, limited on bottles, comforting a crying baby, and sweating profusely. After what seemed like an eternity, someone finally stopped. It was an old white-haired black man in a beat up pickup truck  of his own. He asked us if we needed help, and told us that he knew what it was like to get stranded on the side of the road with a baby. We told him we’d run out of gas, and the old man told us he’d be right back.

He drove away – in the opposite direction of the gas station. He returned not five minutes later with a little gas canister, which he proceeded to dump into our tank. It wasn’t much -about $5 worth. We offered to pay him for it, but he only laughed at us. He stuck around to make sure the truck started up, and then he pointed out to us where he lived. If we ever needed anything again, he said, just knock on that door and someone would be happy to help us.

That $5 got us down to the gas station, and to us, it was about as amazing as finding $100 bill at that point. But what if he hadn’t stopped to help us? Because we were white? Because we were young? Because he had better things to do? Because he simply couldn’t be bothered? Any one of us could have had a heatstroke – especially my daughter. We were in the middle of nowhere – anything could have happened.

Another good story of human kindness… a young man came up to my sister-in-law and I at a gas station. Embarrassed, he asked if we might have just a few dollars to spare for gas money. He was trying to get to Wildwood,  but his card wasn’t working. Even as I reached into my purse, my sister-in-law pulled out a $20 bill and handed it to him. The young man was absolutely thrilled and shocked… he asked if he could send the money back at some point, but my sister-in-law just laughed and told him there was no need.

The best story of human kindness was something that my Papaw did. A dirty, ragged young man was panhandling along the side of the road. He was trying to get to Gainsville, where he had a job opportunity to support his family. My Papaw,  touched by this young man for some unknown reason, ran home. He threw a bunch of food into a grocery bag. My Momma used to laugh and joke that he emptied the cabinets of everything, without thinking about if it went together or not. He grabbed one of his own coats (of which he had very few), and took his last $20 out of his wallet. (This was back in the sixties, folks, by the way. That $20 is equal to a little over $100 today.)

My Papaw ran out to where he had seen the man, but he couldn’t find him. He searched nonstop until he did, and he gave the stuff to the man. The young man actually cried. As he wept, he told my Papaw about how he had lost his job and had a good number of kids to support. They were homeless, and this job was his only hope of making anything of himself.

A few months later, there was a knock on my Papaw’s door. Standing on the porch was a neat, tidy, appropriately dressed young man with a smiling baby on his hip. It was the same dirty, ragged man from a few months earlier, and he had gotten the job. He wanted to give my Papaw back his money, and thank him.  My Papaw just laughed, and told him it wasn’t necessary. He had three kids of his own, and was happy to help.

We, as people, need to look to these stories more. These are stories of faith, hope, charity, love. These are stories of how we, as people, should ALWAYS act. I challenge you, good people, to create a better future. Look for opportunities to help those less fortunate than you. Tell people you love them. Smile. Take time out to talk for a few moments. Grab something off the top shelf for someone who can’t. Hold the door. Hug people. Don’t judge others. Don’t hate someone because they’re different, or because they believe in something you don’t. Practice what you preach. And preach! Preach love! Preach hope! Preach patience! Preach faith –  if not in God, than in the innate goodness of all people!

Share the message. Tell others, and let’s create a better future for all of mankind!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: A Blurred Upbringing, Part 1: “One of The Guys” | Pen Possessed

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