He was addressed as the keynote speaker, and the audience was proud to have him. He was esteemed and respected. He was known for his action and his efforts. He was known for his results. This is how his message was delivered:
“There are unloved children who go to bed hungry at night within a five minute drive from where we are sitting, and you don’t even give a sh*t….
The keynote speaker paused, and slowly surveyed the room- making direct eye contact with many people in it. He then continued by saying,
…and what’s even worse is that most of you are more concerned with the fact that I just said ‘sh*t’ than you are that there are starving children”
Boom…went the dynamite.
This dude was on fire. He was preaching the Truth. He spoke with bold letters, all caps. The audience slouched a bit and took inventory of what he just said.
It got me to thinking about where I place my concerns.
What are the areas which I really want to see change and make a difference, and when am I just seeking the chaos, noise, and drama?
How often to I complain about what someone else is doing or how they are handling something, all the while, avoiding taking action to make anything better?
When am I attempting to make a change versus when do I want the satisfaction of having people agree with me?
When am I looking for the adrenaline that comes with having them disagree?
I want things to get better and for everyone to be happy, I think that we all do. I want to believe that I am willing to do “whatever it takes” to make the world a better place for my children to grow up in. However, if I take a look at the evidence, all signs point to my reliance on other people to put forth the action, while I sit at a dinner table or behind a computer, chastising them for not doing a good enough job, or not handling things according to my beliefs.
I’m ashamed at how quickly I can find myself concerned about a comment that someone makes regarding politics at the national level, but have not devoted a single hour of my time or dollar of my money to the local food pantry. It’s ridiculous how much time and emotion has been devoted towards reading articles and watching television designed to ridicule those running for office in comparison to the time and emotion I have spent getting my hands dirty, while working with the less fortunate in my own hometown.
I sat in an air conditioned church, surrounded by well fed people in nice clothes, while a preacher sought to make us feel better about ourselves by denouncing homosexuality, and I thought, “well, this seems like an efficient way of passing time, while avoiding the work that comes with giving of our time, money, and resources to those who want it and need it.” I’m failing to see where this falls into the category of “helping” and is released from the category of complaining. I get it, you don’t agree with it, and it is outside of your beliefs…but at least offer a solution, if you are too lazy to actually work for one. Let’s move on to something that needs and wants our attention. Let’s move on to something that is actually a problem, and not just something that annoys you.
***FYI- This is, by far, as political or opinionated as I have ever been in this blog. I think I was just inspired by a woman, whose views I don’t necessarily share, but whose talents and opinions I most definitely respect. Please read, How to Be Pro Life (without being an a-hole and a hypocrite) by Krista Winbigler***
There seems to be problems that are better addressed at the Boy Scout level than approached at the level of the Pentagon. My biggest problem is that I try to intellectualize the solutions to problems, which can only be solved by action. And, I don’t like action. Action requires work. Action requires discomfort and getting up off the couch. Action doesn’t allow me to sit in front of my computer or at my dinner table, griping about what is wrong with our country. Action can’t be done while sitting on my pedestal, and it doesn’t mix well with smug and superiority. You have to do better than forwarding a hateful e-mail, quoting a scripture, and calling yourself a Christian, if you are trying to punch the time clock of the betterment of society.
When I look at the work that I have really done to address the problems that are in walking distance of my home, it is disheartening. It’s easy to get caught up in how other people are conducting their business in order to avoid doing mine. Don’t mistake griping and debating as action. Action requires work. Work requires effort. Work requires discomfort, and whatever is comfortable work.
Be useful. Take action. Help one another.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,