In a year that left many of us lonely, depressed, and in mourning, we additionally experienced some of the most divided, angry, and violent cultural and political moments in our nation’s history. While we can certainly add to the white noise by joining into the raging debate about public policies and political candidates, let’s not.
May I suggest that a far better, more productive, and more hopeful exercise will be to focus on ourselves for a change. You might be thinking this sounds selfish. Well, that’s not exactly the kind of self focus I have in mind. Instead, I’m thinking more of the ‘let it begin with me’ and ‘be the change you want to see’kind. I’m wanting to start a revolution of HumanKind! You see, we rise as we lift others.
As this season of giving, grace, and love approaches, may I gently encourage each of us to realize that we can be a living and breathing gift this year. We can be the gift of HumanKind: by speaking up, reaching out, meeting needs, providing encouragement, making connections, writing letters, doing random acts, and in general becoming more of the leaders we are all called to be!
Our nation’s founders instinctively understood this concept when they courageously spoke out against a tyrannical government in England and then bravely charted a course across the Atlantic towards unknown lands. They understood this concept when they miraculously brought together a people of disparate and passionately different views and opinions. They understood this concept when they signed the most monumental constitution ever crafted.
The founders’ HumanKindness is what helped them to create the initial vision and governmental framework for a never before approach to nation building and national governance. The idea of self-governing and building our country on a foundation of government for the people and by the people was roundly laughed at and believed by most to be destined to fail. We all now know that the naysayers and limiting beliefs of others did not stop them from succeeding.
I pray that this brief historical recollection of the foundation of our very own nation serves to inspire and move you to rise above the fray of our current times. I believe we are in this world but not of this world, and that we are called to be part of the redeeming of this world. This belief flows from my Christian worldview and faith. Whatever your sincerely held beliefs are, I think we can all agree that our one life matters. Our relationships, our skills, our vocations, our stories, and our heartfelt desires all lie within our reach and are available to us, as we seek to do more that matters and make our world a better place. True wealth is about so much more than money, esteemed titles, and perceived authority and power.
Let’s not allow a global pandemic or violent, vitriolic political disagreement hold us back or stand in our way. There is nothing we cannot do as a people, and this has been proven over and over and over again in the course of our nation’s history. As the famous saying goes, “We are better today than we were yesterday, but not as good as we hope to be one day.” Let it begin with me, as I live by the Golden Rule of do unto others as I would have them do unto me. We are a force to be reckoned with, but not a brute force and not a militant force. We are a force of HumanKindness.
So, as we close out this difficult year, may this season of reflection produce an attitude of perseverance, patience, gentleness, generosity, and extra grace. May we fill 2021, individually and collectively, with the grandest display of HumanKindness ever seen on Earth. Let’s not allow evil and injustice to rise, and let’s not allow our power, our influence, and our capacity to be limited by what others tell us it is.
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