I hardly know where to start this blog. How do you put a revelation into words? I have had a lot going on in my mind, so I am just going to try to spit it out in this blog and see if I can make it clear.
I deal with people... a lot. I spend a lot of time listening to and watching people. In all honesty I have to admit going in, that for most of my life I have had a critical nature in all things. Sometimes that is good because I can see details that need to be dealt with. I can spot good and bad, needful and excessive, tasteful and tacky, and the list goes on. That can be taken to a bad place when I look at people in a non-personal way and start seeing their flaws and faults and shortcomings.
It is easy for me to lose patience and compassion for some. People are what they are due to the choices they have made. It's their own fault and their own doing, and they are reaping their just reward. I see them every day. They are injurious to themselves, their families, and society. They are a drain on everyone who tries to offer real help. They have messed up their lives have done so because they wouldn’t listen to anyone. They whine and pout and want sympathy. You can't let a pleasantry like, "How are you today" slip past your lips or they'll screw their faces up and dramatically pause before they say, "Well, uh, f-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-n-e.... just pray for me sister."
Now they want help, that is, as long as you don’t you expect them to change anything or actually do anything for themselves. They want everyone to fix it for them. They expect handouts and charity in whatever currency they recognize, whether they are fulfilled by draining others emotionally or financially, or tapping into the entitlement mindset of 'you all owe me something' because of a bad break or a tough life, ad nauseum. They are stubborn and practically unteachable, they get angry if you miss your cue and don't perform, and yet I am supposed to reach out to them with a heart of love and help them. I don't always want to.
At what point are we making the problem worse by catering to them? When have we crossed the line from caring to enabling? This is a hard and valid question, however, this is only one side of a coin. The other side may seem a little less offensive on the surface, but just as self-indulgent and counter productive.
There are those in this world who truly are compassionate and honestly care for the hurting and the unfortunate people who live among us. The likes of Mother Teresa come to mind first. A true servant of humanity, her heart was a giving and compassionate heart, and her life's work and her legacy reflect that. She served others out of genuine love.
Unfortunately, service is so often given to people because of the way it makes the giver feel. I'll step way out on a limb and say that most of the people I know who appear compassionate are actually operating in this fashion rather than the other. It's a selfish thing and not an offering or a service at all. It is a self gratifying, self elevating act of false charity that's worn like a badge. It puts me in the mind of the scripture in the Bible that speaks about how the Pharisees like the best seats in the house and how they blow trumpets to announce their arrival to pray. They pray loudly, "Oh, Lord, I am glad I am not like this poor sinner!"
From this group come people who believe you can pass enough legislation to force charity. They work tirelessly to get laws pass that force others to do what they think should be done for the poor unfortunates. First off, no one can pass a law that will force others to care, as if caring could be a law rather than chosen attitude. Gravity is a law; jumping is a choice. If you push some one into falling is NOT the same as making them want to jump, and it will only successfully anger them.
Secondly, most of the people who want those laws passed are only doing so to make themselves feel good, fulfilled or important, and to relieve a sense of guilt. If their concern were genuine they would be much busier about doing the work of a servant, like Mother Teresa did. They would be manning the soup kitchens, distributing clothing, bringing homeless people under their own roof, baby sitting for the single mother who has to work two jobs, sitting up late nights watching over a vomiting drunk in an alley until he is well enough and able to find a place to lie down in safety.
They don't do these things themselves because it's tacky, dirty, scary, costly, dangerous; because their motivation was wrong all along. They want you to do it. Make it a law for 'someone' to care for them! 'Someone' (else) should do something! That isn't caring, that is appeasing a guilty conscience. It is selfish and self indulgent and benefits no one. It is despisable. It is THAT mentality that is the cause behind the entitlement mentality, and it is a self-perpetuating, unproductive cycle. Both sides grow weaker and more self serving and the problems get increasingly worse.
So, seeing the problem doesn't fix it. Feeding the problem doesn't fix it. Throwing money at the problem doesn't fix it. "Raising awareness" about the problem doesn't fix it. Problems need solutions. What can possibly be done to remedy this situation? Everyone has their own point of view, their own opinion, their own 'feelings' on the subject.
Modern society would have us believe there are no absolutes because of the fact that we have our own beliefs and opinions, and judging someone else is always wrong. It is hateful and closed minded, because we base our judgement on our own ever changing perspective or preferences; our prejudices. How ridiculous! We judge everything in our lives! We would be fools not to. If we didn't, we would do whatever popped into our little minds without care or concern for cost or consequences. Good reason, bad reason, poorly thought out, overly analyzed: all of a person's decisions are a result of years of training, hours upon hours of life's experiences influencing thoughts that we don't even realize consciously that we have. We are judging, so telling ourselves that we can not judge is futile, and frankly, stupid.
So many factors influence our character and our perspective that we can not know who has a proper perspective and a correct understanding of things. Our perspectives are constantly updating and changing with new information and outside stimulus. The fluid nature of our perception really can't be trusted. Situational ethics and so-called neutral morality stem from this line of reasoning, and you can see why it might, but it all sounds pretty unstable. It is. It's very unstable.
It is wrong to judge people on your own criteria. First of all, it's a personal perspective and a private interpretation, and secondly, more importantly, it's wrong to look at another human being with no more regard, no more respect and no more value than to sum them up, critique them and close the file. Part of the problem is that we've been conditioned to make snap decisions on the spur of the moment with little or no thought. It is habitual; it is as natural as eating or breathing. We determine a persons worth, whether to cast them aside or not, in the blink of an eye, almost unconsciously. This is horrible. Horrible.
Unfortunately, there is no standard held by all of society. If there were no standard of measure by which a carpenter constructed a building, it would have no soundness or organization. If there is no standard by which to measure our selves we will also be unsound without arrangement, and confused. Everyone would do what was right in his own eyes. The strong will dominate the weak, the many will overrule the few, and the powerful will dictate to the masses. We know that in our world we have to have standards.
We have standards of weight, volume, time, and distance. We have industry standards, standard currency, standard forms to fill out, standard of living, 'old standards', double standards, standard issue and standard poodles; everything in our world has a standard, yet, we have decided that there can not be a standard by which we are to judge or to measure humanity.
There must be a standard.
Without a standard there is chaos, instability, confusion and strife. There must be morality and ethics and rules and procedures. There must be or the structure of our societies will not stand. We have to have a standard. Where do we begin? We are told to be good stewards. We are told to make good decisions, to discern good from evil and right from wrong as pertains to any situation we find ourselves in, and to any people we enter into relationship with. Wait-- who decides good and right? We do. Each of us are to judge everything carefully, sometimes in an instant, to do so correctly, all based on the knowledge and understanding we have accumulated from our personal experiences over the years of our lives. Who told us what or how? Who told them? We are told to do something that can not be done without a common standard. If we use any standard at all, a good one or a bad one, then we are narrow minded, exclusive, intolerant, haters: pick your tag.
Political groups and ethnic groups all jockey for top position on who is going to set that standard. They start everything from protests to wars and still can not agree on a course of action. It is because there is no way for mankind to come into agreement. Despite all the sensitivity and acceptance it isn't going to happen. For ll the chanting of the 'coexist' mantra, it is just not ever going to happen, and no amount of legislation will force it to.
The beginning of wisdom and the beginning of knowledge is the fear of God, and in knowing Him. He, His Word, is the Standard. I realize that many find that unacceptable. I realize that in modern times the Word of God is archaic and irrelevant to most people's way of thinking. I also realize that before our society adapted that attitude about the Word of God, and before we became too smart for Him, things hummed along pretty smoothly in the arena of man caring for man. We didn't need governments to tell us to watch over our neighbors. We didn't need half hour television infomercials to tell us we should send help to poor nations. We didn't need court ordered counselling for drug addicts or child abusers. We didn't concern ourselves about possibly having to attend sensitivity training for pointing out bad or unlawful behavior, and we didn't call people who knew right from wrong 'haters' or judgmental'. We didn't need to have a confab to decide if we were free or not.
We didn't have to be taught the obvious because our culture passed on what was expected of us as far as social behavior was concerned, and we were shunned if we were wrong. Yes, wrong. Not situationally wrong, or wrong in my perspective, but wrong. Those who were wrong were not lauded for our diverse perspective, or supported for our differences. Right was right, wrong was wrong, and structure and stability was our strength. Our society was shaped by the Word of God, and our people had self-discipline. SELF discipline, as in able to discipline ourselves. It wasn't until we strayed away from God's Word, whether in the town square or in the pulpit, that our fabric began to fray.
Ack! I have to go to the store. This was a thrown together blog, and it's a bit disjointed, no doubt. Sorry. Maybe I'll come back to this. I'm sure I didn't get it all out of my head right. lol