Being Nice

A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to attend an event for cancer patients and their caregivers. The event focused not only on surviving, but more so on thriving and living. One of the things said that day stuck with me. “If you have one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you are basically s***ing on today”. This Thanksgiving season, I, am reminded to be thankful for “today” and all that it holds.

Today (it is Monday as I write this) I am thankful for a conversation I had with one of the volunteers at work. This volunteer is 86 years old and she will often times just say what is on her mind. Today, she totally caught me off guard when she asked me, “How did you get to be so nice? You must have come from such a nice and wonderful family.” I wasn’t sure what to say. I thought for a moment and said, thank you. I also confirmed that I do indeed come from a nice and wonderful family; and I said that while I’ve never really given this question too much thought, I try to treat people how I would want to be treated. We continued to talk for a few minutes about how and when we learn things like our morals, beliefs and our behaviors. She shared about her life growing up and some of her experiences. Her phone rang and we both had to get back to work.

Throughout the day I thought about our conversation. I thought about my faith and the words found in Luke 6 …
Luke 6:27-36
[27] "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. [29] If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. [30] Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. [31] Do to others as you would have them do to you.

[32] "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. [33] And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. [34] And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. [35] But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. [36] Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6:31 ~ Do to others as you would have them do to you. Sounds easy enough right? While we may not be perfect, this is a choice that we make daily even when we do not always realize it.

I leave you with one more quick thought … most have heard the story about the young child throwing starfish back into the ocean one by one. The child chooses to make a difference to each starfish, one by one. Just think, if we were nice to each person we meet, we could be making a difference to one person at a time whether we know it or not.

Dear God ~ Thank you for the gift of today and the foundation of faith that has been passed to us from those we hold dear. Please help us to be nice, kind and compassionate to those we meet every day for things are not always what they may seem. In your name we pray. Amen

April Schauer

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