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I wasn't sure how to even begin on this post. Or what to call it. It's been a long time coming though.  In the back of my mind, I've considered for quite some time writing on this topic : Freedom of speech as well as  discipline in our words and actions. But I'll admit it was prayers to my Lord over a situation that greatly upset me a week or two ago that made me decide I needed to address it in a blog post.   It's a situation in our society that bothers me.  It bothers me a great deal.  I worry over it.  I pray a lot about it.  Yet it seems to be increasing and, over the last several months, lines of respect and decency have been crossed over and over again on so many different levels.  And not just in stories you hear of people that are known for crossing lines, but in families that are taught the value of treating humans with decency, among friends who have treasured one another for years and sometimes a life time, among leaders who are supposed to be protectors of our government and setting an example for the country,  and yes, among people that barely even know one another.  There is a great lack of respect, a lack of allowing someone to express an opinion without personal attack, a judgment or slander about a person based on one thing they believe in.

I read somewhere recently that "freedom of any kind is impossible without discipline.  There is no such thing as unlimited freedom, because what we do affects other people and their freedom." ...continue reading "Discipline & Freedom"

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American Motivational speaker, Wayne Dyer says,

“Judgements prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.”

I'm not a Wayne Dyer fan... though I know people who are.  I think some of what he says is good.  The above quote struck me as VERY good.  It's so true.  People often make judgements based on appearances and that is so shallow and so neglectful of finding out the truth.

Things are not what they appear.  For example, a peanut is not a nut; it is a legume.  A koala is not a bear; it's a marsupial.  And sometimes a smile is not a sign of happiness. It is a mask that covers the pain within.

One can never know someone's story just by looking at them or even by only catching a glimpse of the picture.  I read this story a couple of months ago that brought me to tears - it was about a woman's husband who had suffered a brain injury which left him with a changed personality.  Once in a while she would catch glimpses of the man she married only to have him fade away again at a moment's notice. His behavior was not understandable to people who were not aware of the injury - it's not like he or his family carried around signs to say "I'm suffering from a traumatic brain injury.  I'm really a nice guy underneath this so please excuse my behaviors and be kind to me and my loved ones."  But the point of the story was perhaps we all should carry signs.

You can read the whole story as it was originally posted here.

When I read this story, I couldn't help but think of my own family and friends.  I thought of the things they have been through, the things most people don't know about and the judgements people may make based on appearance or behaviors when they don't know the story behind it.  People can be very rude and judgemental.

I hope you take time to read the woman's story.  And I hope you can recognize that we all have stories. And then I hope that you will  " think about some of the big signs with big messages that I bet you wish you could wear around your neck sometimes so that people would be more gentle, or even that you could put around the neck of someone you love — so that you didn’t have to go into a big long story to defend yourself or someone else– so that people would just stop judging and just be kind."

I also believe we must forgive these people who are not kind.  The ones that don't know the story and feel they have to make the comments they do - not knowing all there is to know. They are swimming in their own stuff that we, the judged, don't know anything about either.

Forgiveness Doesn't Excuse Their Behavior
Forgiveness Doesn't Excuse Their Behavior

Random Thoughts For a Saturday:

  • Be Kind
  • When you feel yourself judging, try doing a random act of kindness for that person instead.
  • How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work on a snowy morning?
  • Three year olds do not understand that stuffy noses do not clear up just like that. Nor do they understand that crying makes it worse.  🙁
  • It's hard to explain to a dog that swallowing the medicine is what makes it work.
  • It's amazing what a fourteen year old boy can train a toddler to do (give the 14 year old a hug every time the toddler wants him to do something, for example).
  • Again, Be Kind.