See and don’t be the good bad example…

June 20, 2019

Two posts in the Jack’s Winning Words blog that I get every day seemed destined to be in juxtaposition–

“My mom used to say, ‘No one is worthless, Jonny, they can at least be a good bad example.”  (Jon Hanson)

And da Vinci

“There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, and those who do not see.”  (Leonardo da Vinci)

Jonny’s mom knew that she was speaking of people who just don’t see. They refuse to see that the things that they may do or say out of prejudice or fear could be hurtful or maybe they just don’t care. They become the bad example that makes the newscast at night or that others use as an example of bad behavior. They are the people that give terms like “bigot” or “charlatan” or “sex offender” a face and form.  We know who they are and in most cases, they know who they are. They have been shown, but they just don’t care.

In order not to join that group, one must at least be a person of the second type that Leonardo mentioned – someone who sees once they are shown. Many of us grew up in right-and-wronghomes where there may have been prejudices expressed and perhaps even acted out. I certainly did. Once I started thinking and seeing for myself, I was able to sort out the truth about those prejudices from the fears that they were based upon. Vestiges of those early knee-jerk reactions to certain people or things remain in the back of my mind, but I am now able to see them for what they were. I hope I have not been the good bad example in front of my children, grandchildren and others. I try not to be.

There are special glasses that are used by various groups against drug and alcohol use that demonstrate the impact of alcohol on the body by distorting what you see so completely that you cannot do simple tasks like putting colored pegs in holes on a board,surprised emoji even though you can “see” through the glasses. Prejudices are like that for your life. They are the lens that you see life through that distort things and render you unable to function properly. Once you understand how to stop looking at life through those lenses, you can actually “see” the people and things that you are interacting with and life becomes much richer. Hopefully, you will come to understand if you are wearing those lenses or someone will tell you and then you will see.

What type of person are you? Do you see or at least consider and see things differently if you are told; or, are you so stuck in your ways that you cannot bring yourself to see any stubbornalternative to your set beliefs? When you encounter someone who is different from you, do you have an immediate reaction that dictates how you interact (or avoid interacting) with them? Have you thought about that? Has anyone told you that your preconceived notions are wrong? Can you see that it is wrong or at least wrong not to be open-minded enough to re-evaluate why you are reacting like that? Don’t be the good bad example. Take off the glasses of your prejudices and see?

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Get out of the shadows…

October 2, 2018

Jack Freed had a post that is so good today on his blog Jack’s Winning Words that I need to re-post the whole thing before I add any comments.

“We’d forgive most things if we knew the facts.”  (Graham Greene)  Being prejudiced means to judge before knowing all of the facts.  RLS wrote: “I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me…” and that shadow, at times, can be the tendency to form opinions based on partial knowledge.  Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, nationalism…these are more than words.  Leaning, left or right…we daily have to examine “our little shadow” of pre-judging. – Jack

It’s interesting that this tendency to pre-judge, to be prejudiced, comes from the shadows, preacher-pointingfrom a dark place – a place in our hearts and minds where the sun doesn’t reach or perhaps where the Son doesn’t reach. Just as these preconceived notions, most born in ignorance and fear, could not stand the light of the truth, they also could not stand having the light of Christianity shined upon them. The fact that many words of hate and prejudice are hurled from the shadows by people thumping Bibles and loudly devilproclaiming to be Christians just shows the power of the Devil in their lives. They have allowed fear and hate to overcome the love and acceptance that Jesus taught.

Get out of the shadows…

What “little shadows” do you allow in your life? Is it a fear or prejudice against of people of color? Is it disgust or disdain at hearing others speak a foreign language in a store? Is it the ignorance and loathing of homophobia? Is it just the discomfort that you feel being around people who are “different”? Perhaps you sneer at eyes of revengea women wearing the Habib or those who look or dress differently. Perhaps you have allowed yourself to become a snob about some things and tend to discount the tastes of others who do not share you appreciation for that thing. Maybe your little shadow is just the indifference to your fellow man that allows you to turn away from the homeless beggar in the street, rather than reach out to try to help.

Get out of the shadows…

Whatever your personal little shadow is, you need to get out from under it. Shine the light of Jesus teachings on those fears and prejudices. Get yourself one of those little WWJDWWJD bracelets and start wearing it. When you find yourself in a situation where the shadow of pre-conceived notions is starting to darken your judgement, take the time to look at the bracelet and ask yourself that question. If you take the time to ask yourself What Would Jesus Do in those situations, you will find that the shadows go away. They cannot stand the light of the Son.

Get out of the shadows…

Have a great day walking in the light of the Son.