Monday, January 8, 2018

Be the Helpers

I have this really great friend who is probably my most favorite person to just cut to the chase of life with.  Small talk and polite hesitation just isn't something we usually do and certainly not her way.  Her super power is to say just what she thinks -especially in regards to the important matters of life - and not be bothered by any awkwardness that ensues.  I'm not really talking about rudeness, just more like the true friend love that knows you may regret this horrible choice you are about to make.

I, on the other hand, hate confrontation.  I despise awkwardness.  Even on TV!  The Office is a favorite of Mr. Butler and I's, BUT sometimes Michael Scott's ridiculous awkwardness is just too much for me.  And it's not even real.  So, I have always avoided the straight-talk kind of conversations unless someone else is asking my opinion.  As I get older, I have some regret about not being more willing to try to help others when they are clearly going in a foolish direction.  One of the privileges of knowing people for over 20 or 30 years is that you get to see the results of early life choices and it is evident now that those adolescent events are so shaping and unfortunately condemning if left uncorrected. 

Why am I talking about any of this?  I want to encourage you to always be a helper.  Moms and Dads, teach your kids to be helpers.  Teenagers, the way you treat others - especially those in your peer group - will change them for better or worse.  In the chaotic moments of adolescence, I know you feel like it's every man for himself, but in 20 years you'll see what kind of effect you had.  Will it be meaningful and good? Or was it hurtful and negligent?  Every man is responsible for their own actions, of course.  But haven't you seen all the hurt and dysfunction that many, many children - maybe even you - grow up in?  Maybe love and attention from you or your family could change their life? 

Something I've decided to work on is my ability to do good in spite of discomfort or awkwardness.  I'm really bad at it - like brain racing, blood pressure spike, and just foolish talking - but I'm hoping that the pregnancy/new mom brain will start to improve and I can be more purposeful with my words.  There's always going to be tragic ends and self-inflicted pain and suffering, but I think we can save some.  And I think that matters.
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