Leading Ethically Only is an educational outreach of Leadership Ethics Online (LEO). Essays range widely--from ethical analysis of the news, to ethical challenges to leaders in society, to personal reflections of an ethical nature. We welcome your thoughts and criticisms to make us better.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thank God for Loving People

This blog is dedicated to all the people in the world, of all ages, creeds, religions, and nations, for every loving thought, word, and deed, you bring into the world. Most blogs follow the news and its negative subjects: the national debt, political corruption, conflicts. Today, however, I want to turn away from all the news items to focus on the millions of "just plain folks" who do one things well: they love their families, neighbors, and nation well.

Love in Every Color and Flavor

People who love come in every color and flavor. They are of all ages. They live in every time zone. Somewhere right now, some loving person is getting up in the morning, and another has put in a full day and is headed for bed. Neither of them speak the same language. They live in different nations. They live in different hemispheres. Some live north of the equator, and some south of it. But these people actually do speak the same language. It's the language of love.

They get up with a smile at the rising sun. They go through the day with a good attitude. They are just basically happy people, glad to be alive. Many of them hear the daily news, which presents 99% negative information. But these people just will not let some news editor's choices affect how they see they world.

They like being alive. They like talking to strangers on the bus and train. They like being polite to the cranky clerk, because they know it's tough working with the public. Though they are well familiar with all the negative, trashy, disgusting stuff going on, they simply choose NOT TO PARTICIPATE! They WANT to have a good day. They WANT to do what they can to help others have a good day. They like being alive and having the CHOICE to make a difference, their difference. So they do!

The really cool thing about these people is they are all over the world. They speak every language and dialect. They have all shades of skin color, from pearly white to ebony black. Some are strong as bulls. Others are weak and need help feeding themselves. Some are quick and others are slow learners. Some eat rice gruel and others eat steak. Some boil their dirty water and others drink boutique bottled water.

But all these people have the same thing in common. They wake up each day in good humor. They are positive forces wherever they go. They just naturally have good attitudes and thoughts. They just like putting their hands out to help others. When they see a really nasty character, they see someone who needs a hug not a slap. These are the Race of Lovers, and there are millions of them all over the world. Without them, the world would not be what it is.

Now There Are Some "Big People" Who Love Well

Now there are some "big name" people, like Dr. Phil on television, and thousands more who have earned their place to express their love and concern in big ways. Then there's that funny guy who had his "fifteen minutes of fame," Dr. Patch Adams and his Gesundheit Institute. And there's that Make-a-Wish Foundation. Where I live, there is a wonderful charity with an impeccable record, the WHAS Crusade for Children.  I've even heard of charities that bring dogs, cats, and all kinds of critters to old folks, just to give them something to love!

The very word, "charity," comes from the Latin word, caritas, which means love.  So charity is a great thing.  We need more of it.  That's precisely why Dr. Phil and many, many charities all over the world are popular.  Everybody wants to be understood.  Everybody wants to be helped.  Everybody wants to be loved. Everybody understands the language of love, which is why people donate to good causes.

One of the "down sides" of charities, however, is their costs.  Full-time staff, organizational costs, advertising costs, insurance costs, there's plenty of cost for an official charity.  OK, OK.  I'm not criticizing, just pointing out a fact.

That is why today's blog celebrates "the little people" and not the big names and organizations we all love.  If we had to depend on official organizations to spread every daily dose of love needed in the world, we would be in a mess!  There is NO organization that exists that can be everywhere all the time.  Which brings me back to the "little people" (translate that, you and me).

It's The "Little People" Who Spread the Most Love

In nations all over the world, there are people who are paid to do some pretty nasty jobs.  You name the nastiest job you know.  Yet it's completely true that many of the people who have these jobs also bring love with them in everything they do.  From the nurse assistant who switches out smelly bedpans, to the school janitor whose day is loaded down with cleaning up vomit from the latest cycle of viruses, there are folks who have some "dirty work."  Yet the truth is, nearly all these people bring love with them when they come on the job.  They love people.  They love doing a good job.  They are glad to be alive.  They bring love to what they do.

My younger daughter, Charissa, is one of these "little people."  Though she is absolutely beautiful, she enjoys helping people as a certified nurse assistant.  You name it, she's had to do it.  But the really great thing about her is that she constantly gets compliments from her patients and their families for one reason.  She loves people, she loves what she does.  She's one of the "little people" doing big things because of, you guessed it, LOVE.

It's the "little people" who respond to the emergencies and crises in our nation and world.  Who are the thousands who volunteer to go to sites of flood and drought, hurricane and earthquake, and much more?  We know thousands are there.  But we don't know their names.  And they did not go there to get their names in the newspapers or pictures on the television.  It was LOVE that brought them there.  And their love for strangers--got that?--strangers cost them time, money, energy, and sometimes, personal risk to their own lives.

I just love these "little people" who give the so-called "daily news" a BAD name.  Why?  Because the news never reports on these people enough.  The line, "NY Man Kills Family After Armed Robbery," just as easily could be, "11 Million NY Fathers Kissed Children Off to School After Fixing Them Breakfast."  The choice as to which is news is arbitrary.  Do we want to be reminded some people go crazy, or that millions of good people kiss their children off to school?  I don't know about you, but I would rather hear about the 11-million-to-1 shot........

Yes, it's the average person who keeps the world going with daily doses of love, doled out to whomever he or she meets.  Maybe it's the kid who put some extra candy in a pocket and passes it to others on the playground.  Maybe it's the CEO who orders bonus checks to everybody in the company who've been with the firm more than a year.  The stories of love are pretty much endless.  Why?  When love is in your heart, it just has to get out, and it will.

Now On My Hobbyhorse--the Religions in Conflict

If you've read many of my blogs, you know how concerned I am about religions gone amok. There are plenty of religious people in the world who seem preoccupied with either starting or keeping up some kind of conflict. I'm always concerned with the historically demonstrated fact that the masses can be swayed to do harm through their favorite religion.

But, HEY!, the truth is there are millions of good religious people all over the world--of every faith--who do not do all the bad stuff some of their brothers and sisters do. There are Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, people of every faith who are utterly fantastic at everything they do BECAUSE OF their religious faith. These people love God. They love themselves as God's children. They love their families. They love their local community. They love their workplace. They love, love, love, BECAUSE they have a strong faith in God and dedication to pleasing both God and fellow human beings.

Now most readers know who Mother Theresa was. Most of the world knows who she was. She was a Catholic nun who founded the Sisters of Charity, whose main mission was to love and serve "the poorest of the poor." Now Mother Theresa could be pretty feisty and a little crusty at times, but her heart was sold out to loving all kinds of folks with absolutely a non-discriminating love. What an inspiration to people all over the world. THE WORLD LIKES TO RECOGNIZE LOVE!

Mohandas Gandhi said a profound truth to a Hindu man whose son had been killed by a Muslim, then who killed a Muslim child in retaliation but who felt he was "going to Hell" for his deed. Gandhi said, "I will tell you how to get out of Hell. Find an orphan. Raise him as your own. But be sure he is a Muslim, and raise him as one." I love that quote.

Jesus (Matthew 8:5-13) once was approached by a high-ranking Roman soldier requesting a healing for his sick servant. Jesus did not say, "Oh, darn! I'd like to, but you're not a Jew. I wish you had not talked with me, or that you are so close. The purity laws forbid this kind of contact. Bye." NOT!

And just think of all the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and other healers through the centuries who did same as Jesus--they just saw the need, loved the patient more than any religious credo, and then just loved the person! Sometimes I think that the most hateful religious people in the world really need to get deathly ill--or have their child deathly ill--only to be healed by some physician from the group they hate! And since we are discussing non-discriminatory love for people shared through medical professionals, we cannot fail to note Doctors Without Borders.

Transition to Action

Now we've thought about love in the world, and how many people all over the planet are loving others every day. Let's move from thinking to doing. A few simple suggestions for making this blog useful today.

(1) Think about your life. How loving are you?
(2) Think about someone you know who needs more love, then love that person.
(3) Give more love than worrying about getting more love, and love will come.
(4) Enter in the Comment Box below two things: (a) a person who has loved you and (b) an organization you think loves well.

Let's you and me, be more loving today. God help us to do that. AMEN

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