It is February and that is the month of love. This month includes Valentine’s Day where we share heartfelt feelings with our partners. But we know that there are many types of love that we give and receive from our fellow beings.
I was listening to a sermon the other day and I thought about the commission to ‘bind up the broken-hearted.’ Often we brush pass others who from all appearances are doing well; but they could be wearing a mask to hide a deep, throbbing inner pain. That is why it would behoove us to be gentle, thoughtful and kind to others. The Golden Rule still works.
One abrasive or unkind word could cause the dam of tears to break and unravel that person from within. I am often amazed at how crude, rude and mean-spirited we can be to other human beings. When I witness offensive and harsh behavior, I first step back and take a deep breath as I decide how I will respond to the affront. As I further mature and observe human nature, I realize that as the saying goes, ‘only hurting people hurt people.’
However, in this age where we are surrounded by oodles of self-help books, talk shows with guest psychologists, and downloadable online resources, there is little excuse for extremely negative behavior. If something went wrong in our households as children, there is a plethora of information out there for us to take ownership of our pain.
It is not the world’s fault and most people do not interact with us long enough to care why we behave poorly. They simply respond with an, “Ouch,” and keep moving away from the source of discomfort. Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” People remember which persons exacted which emotions whether it was joy or pain.
When I see people on television getting out of their cars and verbally or physically attacking other drivers during a fit of ‘road rage,’ I sigh, “Really? Grown-ups?” When I see people who are trained to help others act in a contrary manner, I know that they do not know themselves and are not in touch with their own spiritual centers. We should ask ourselves, “Would I want this treatment to be thrust upon my loved ones? If the answer is, “No way,” then we need to pull back and check our attitudes and actions.
Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The rich in spirit help the poor in spirit in one grand brotherhood…” We should lift, encourage, praise, soothe, embrace, comfort and listen to one another. Now, that is love.
Lynn February 1, 2015