Archive for the ‘responsibility’ Category

Politically Correct

December 11, 2018

Many people (white men?) complain about the “politically correct” speech movement. They seem to feel it is a restraint on their freedom.

Why?

Do we need to be free to speak about people in demeaning terms?

Do we need to be free to preach hatred?

The founders of the American Republic were rightly concerned that people would grab onto the “rights” without considering the balancing “responsibilities”.

Especially as Christians, do we need social pressure to speak respectfully of others? To speak wisdom? To think before we speak (read the letter of James for a longer essay on this)?

I am almost never on Facebook anymore. I don’t see some of the memes going around. But I guess there is a kerfluffel about the “Christmas” song “Baby It’s Cold Out There.”

First, hate to burst your bubble, but this isn’t a Christmas song. It’s a winter song.

Next, the song is about a man convincing a reluctant woman to have sex with him. It is done playfully. That makes it even more dangerous.

Have we learned nothing from the last several years? Finding ways to convince or force others into having sex is simply not correct behavior. Forget “politically correct.” It is not morally correct.

In the terms of the Proverbs, many people seem to want the right to be a fool when we should be growing into Wisdom.

The Tongue Is A World of Evil

June 1, 2018

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

The words of the reckless pierce like swords…

We have known for millennia that it is wise to be responsible and aware of what we say–whether with our mouth or on Twitter. The first quote is from James from about 2,000 years ago. The second maybe from 1,000 years before that. Maybe more.

Once again, many lives are disrupted and many lines of division are drawn by reckless spouting off of unthinking opinion or a crude attempt at humor.

We know better, and yet we let emotion take over our lives, shun responsibility, say things that we cannot retract and later regret.

How often do we hear “I’ve got my rights” versus how often do we hear “I am responsible for how I use my rights”?

There are alternatives.

…but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

We get to choose.

Two Men Walk Into A Coffee House

May 30, 2018

And they get thrown out.

Not the beginning of a joke. Today Starbucks is closing stores to provide training to associates on how to interact with people of all races and genders.

The corporation has a policy. Not an unusual policy. I’ve experienced it in many countries and many establishments. Shouldn’t be a big deal.

It became one.

Morgan Freeman makes jokes and comments about the physical features of women. There was a time that was pretty common. Men never stopped to think about the effect of the comments on the women. It’s just “joking” around. But, who knows, maybe they’d “get lucky.”

It now became a big deal.

Roseanne cracks a crude joke on Twitter. There are lots of crude comedians–in comedy clubs. Not that I like those. Putting it out in the public for everyone to see? Within 12 hours she was dissed by a co-star, had her series cancelled, had the actions dealing with her confirmed by the CEO of the corporation, and she lost her agent.

It became a big deal.

We have ancient teachings that can guide us, if we but choose.

Jesus spoke 2,000 years ago and quoted something from 2,000 years before him. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Or we can look for guidance from the Apostle Paul who advised his friends in the churches in Galatia, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Time after time people in organizations are making decisions that they think upholds company policy but act in a wrong manner.

Following these guidelines (commands) you cannot be wrong.

Unfortunately those acts to not make the news. We only hear about loud-mouthed, bigoted “Christians” and acts of great insensitivity. As for me, I’d just as soon not be in the news.

Searching For A Little Humility

April 4, 2018

Teresa of Ávila

It is amusing to see souls who, while they are at prayer, fancy they are willing to be despised and publicly insulted for the love of God, yet afterwards do all they can to hide their small defects. If anyone unjustly accuses them of a fault, God deliver us from their outcries! Prayer does not consist of such fancies. No, our Lord expects works from us. Beg our Lord to grant you perfect love for your neighbor. If someone else is well spoken of, be more pleased than if it were yourself; this is easy enough, for if you were really humble, it would vex you to be praised.

Words from one of my favorite guides.

So often a couple of things seem to be missing from our discourse–social media or just social.

Responsibility and Humility.

I hear shouting about rights. But when it comes to talking about responsibilities that are the companion of rights, only ominous silence.

To this day, I hate writing the bio part of my Websites. It is meant to boast in order to bring me business. It seems like the “fake” part of an interview. “Tell us about a fault.” “Well, sometimes I work too hard.”

Right.

Or, “Honey, I took out the garbage.” Only to hear, “Yeah, you were supposed to. You’re expecting maybe a little doggie treat for doing your job?”

Maybe we pray along with Teresa, “No, our Lord expects work from us. Beg our Lord to grant you perfect love for your neighbor.”

Without Responsibility There Are No Rights

June 20, 2017

“I know my rights.”

“I have the right to …”

These are popular American phrases. 

Yet, a right without a companion responsibility is enslavement to emotion. It is narcissism. It is all about me without regard to others who may be affected–family, community, nation.

Having rights without responsibility leads to a culture of “us against them” and “I want mine, don’t care about the other people”. It leads to divisiveness. Argumentativeness. 

In the end it leaves us with no rights.

John Adams (one of the nation’s founders) said, “Democracy can only exist with a moral people.” 

Being moral is not a conservative versus liberal thing. It is a responsible versus irresponsible thing. Perhaps like the elder son and the prodigal son. Balance is restored when the irresponsible son comes to his senses and returns home.

Consider how many times Jesus did something and then gave the person something to do. “Pick up your mat and …” Or “Go show yourselves to the priests.” Or “Go and sin no more.” Or “Go and do likewise and you will be saved.”

Or, “You will know my followers by how they love one another.”

How well do we all live out that responsibility?