I always tell my kids that manners are not for them, they are for other people. Proper etiquette points to good manners as valuable in creating an atmosphere where others feel comfortable – free of having to deal with the awkwardness of moments that accompany farts and talking with food in the mouth bring. It’s extremely important to me that my children understand they are a part of community – at home, at church and school, and in the greater sense with all humanity.
Life does not revolve around them. It doesn’t revolve around any of us.
One of the greatest travesties in a generation of people who put their own needs first, is often the lack of consideration to others. I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and agendas, that it can become very easy to believe our decisions/actions have no affect on other people – especially if nobody finds out. While co-dependency is certainly unhealthy, the other end of the spectrum is just as damaging. It’s easy to minimize the ripple down effect that our choices can truly have on those around us…
Grabbing a cup of joe is no crime, but choosing a bikini coffee stand fosters further objectification of women, supports the male perspective that women are there to serve them, damages the economy (as most men tip exorbitant amounts of dollars for an ego stroke), and breaks down marital and parental value.
Prejudice wears on the recipient’s sense of value and freedom. It robs the very sense of community, and creates chasms not only between individuals, but within one’s own soul. Racism and the devaluing of human life, attacks the very essence of a nation bent on equality, fostering an environment of distrust and unrest.
“White Collar Crime” creates uncertainty in the market place, deepens the socioeconomic chasm, damages economic health, and robs families who pay for such crime in increasing taxes and insurance premiums.
When members of a group, be it occupation, race, or gender, protects the injustices of a fellow member of their group, simply out of loyalty, injustice continues to reign and the belief in humanity further wanes amongst the people.
An affair destroys not only a marriage and a family unit, it violates security for those close to the couple. It sets up children for a legacy that they now have to fight against perpetuating in their own lives. It damages not only the heart and soul of the one betrayed, but the ones involved in the relationship also become damaged and savagely ravaged by the lies and deceit they have lived under.
Addiction wreaks havoc on those who love them; on those stolen from, whether financially, or of feelings of security and trust…
Lies bring chaos….
Every single action has a reaction, and each of us plays an important role in creating the atmosphere around us. When we say and do nothing about injustice, we are saying yes to it. While not one of us can change the world, each of us can effectively alter our personal environment. Freedom is extremely expensive; it isn’t free, not to a single one of us. True freedom only comes when we live by grace, awareness, love, honor and the knowledge that we are ALL in this together. Never live your life for others, but live in a way that they can simply live.