“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
If more people would follow that simple counsel from Luke 6:31, this crazy world would be a lot better place, in my humble opinion.
Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that it just ain’t so, Joe. It just ain’t so. It can be a cold, cruel world out there. As one of my cinematic heroes, Rocky Balboa said: “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place … it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward.”
Love me some Rocky.
That’s a great message.
Sometimes, people who treat others poorly may just be good people having a bad day, plain and simple. Sometimes, they may just be bad people. Make no mistake about it, God loves us all and wants us to be happy and prosper, but there are plenty of mean people out there who make themselves feel better not by helping other people, but by making others feel worse.
The trick is to not fall into their trap.
Sometimes you may get knocked down, figuratively speaking, of course. What counts is what you do when you get back up.
I used to have a tremendous pet peeve about rude treatment from store clerks, check-out cashiers, waiters, and other service workers. I have embarrassed the stuffing out of my wife on more than one occasion by confronting people at a business who can barely seem to give me the time of day as they take my hard-earned money and grant me the profound privilege of dumping change back into my outstretched hand, without so much as a smile, howdy-do, thank you, or even the dreaded, “Have a nice day.” No eye contact; no nothing.
Sometimes now, depending on my own mood, I’ll either ignore being treated like an inconvenience to someone whose job and paycheck depends on me and others like me coming in and spending money, or I’ll maybe try to engage them in a little friendly conversation, which sometimes works; sometimes does not.
Then there are times when I ask for a manager and complain about the little sourpuss. Probably a waste of time, but makes me feel a little better.
Treating others as you would want them to treat you.
Even simple acts of random kindness can go a long way toward bringing a little more joy, sunshine, and warmth to the world. Holding a door open for someone can not only bring a smile to an unsmiling face, but make you feel better, too.
Volunteering your time in the community is a way to not only ease someone else’s burden and show a little love, but also a great way to get out of yourself and forgot about your own problems for a while. There are lots of options for volunteering: soup kitchens, homeless shelters, schools, libraries … the list goes on and on.
Many local governments have volunteer organizations that are always looking for people to lend a hand. Give them a call.
In Luke 6:32-42, it says:
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
Do a good deed for someone today, expecting nothing in return.
See how it feels.
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