Examining the Mirror's Reflection
And it concluded with, “Interesting…Share to everyone!”
Well, my friend Sandy followed those instructions and re-posted this not-true-and-so-not-interesting post on her Facebook page. I smiled and giggled when I read it and was heading to the next (oh-so-very-important-I’m-sure) post when I saw that she’d had four comments. Intrigued, I checked out what possible comments they could be making. The comments had me fuming and embarrassed for my friend! One person decided she was the Facebook Police and wrote (peppered with retracted obscenities):
My head buzzed with possible, similarly inflammatory responses to her cruel comments until I realized I’d just be adding fuel to the fire. What is going on? Have we gone astray of treating others with basic respect?
Martin Luther King, Jr’s comments came to mind, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
So, then I began considering kind responses to help curb those acidic tongues. What about, “This guy was just teasing you!” or “Ha! Ha! Good one, Sandy!” I ended up writing nothing, but this person’s nasty, disrespectful comments continued to gnaw on me. Usually when I don’t like someone else’s behavior, etc., I find it’s actually the Lord tapping ME on the shoulder and whispering, “Psst! Emily…you might want to look in the mirror….” So, I did, and of course He was right.
Do I always treat others with kindness? I came up with a few ready examples from this past week when I didn’t. Do I always resist zipping out those little zingers disguised as jokes? Again, my memory found a few recent examples. Do I always remember to “Love First?” No. After my self-chastising (is that really a word?), I couldn’t help but reflect on the bigger picture of what has become seemingly acceptable in the way we interact with others. As a society, I think we have become more disrespectful and less tolerant of others, especially if their opinions are different from our own.
What an amazing man we lost in Martin Luther King, Jr., but he continues to inspire: “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
I found several ready examples of things which rankle me of late. Although the NFL players who kneel at our flag are trying to bring positive changes for how we treat one another, I think the players’ methods are misguided and incorrect. They are at least trying to do the right thing. Our political leaders were elected and deserve our respect, even if we don’t agree with their positions. Our political system allows avenues to express our opinions, so we don’t need to be hateful in the way we share our differing opinions. And, we don’t need to scream at the driver who cuts us off in traffic. He may have just had a lapse in judgment or been preoccupied with something happening in his life. I can take a deep breath and pray we all make it home safely. And, I don’t always agree with my husband, but I always love him! And, I don’t always make the right decisions on how to interact with others! I need to continue to work on being more understanding and treating others with “Love First” in mind.
Yes, I need reminders. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. had such an amazing command of language and the Bible. Reading his words help me look more closely in the mirror.
In one speech, after King addressed the different meanings of “Love” in the Greek language, he said,
When I see others through the lens of loving them first, how I respond to their actions becomes more clear. Perhaps we can all lessen the seeming increase of disrespect and intolerance in the world if we simply remember to “Love First.” Facebook might be a good first-start.
Your friend in Christ,
3/14/2023 06:49:48 pm
First of all, I think you are one of the kindest people I know!
3/14/2023 08:42:49 pm
Beautiful. very well said Emily!!!
3/14/2023 07:34:32 pm
You read my heart! Emily, what a wonderfully written piece on things that are likely on most of our hearts & minds. Great reminder, and great MLK quotes. "Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can. Hate can not drive out hate, only Love can". There's always room for grace, and we need to remember to practice it ourselves (I certainly do). Words for the ages...... Thank you!
3/15/2023 05:20:22 am
Emily, I really enjoyed reading your well written piece. If only we could al love first always! I loved the MLK quotes too. What a great reminder to look in the mirror and reflect on our actions and words. Thank you Emily!
3/15/2023 07:19:51 am
3/15/2023 07:43:25 am
Good Morning Emily! Thank you for your enlightenment, contemplations, and booster shots of attitude adjustment. There are positive vibes dancing in my thoughts now and what a great way to begin a new day....make a positive out of a negative....consider that we are each on a journey and yet to walk alongside with kindness and compassion is such an amazing outreach ...we never know another's journey and daily have the opportunity to love one another...may we be pebbles in life's pathway...pebbles of hope, tolerance, safety, and caring. Just think of the ripple effects of pebbles tossed on water....transformation....and such a little time for a big change. May your day include ripples....
3/15/2023 07:56:15 am
3/16/2023 10:00:32 am
Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding a person's mean response to your friend. I think you are one of the kindest people I know. You sure did a lot of soul searching to determine what action you should take if any. Our church is so blessed to have you. You are amazing!
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