Some of us have limited information, limited processing power and we bring information to a decision that no one else has or interprets the same way. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we are spectacularly wrong. It’s easy to judge, judging is part of the deal, it is our way of protecting our own decision making process. Judging is a shortcut, it says, I am right, you are wrong, therefore, you are an idiot.
A radio announcer, no one to talk, has been making fun of Michelle Obama’s appearance. While I quit worrying about talk radio a long time ago, I thought this was a great illustration of what happens when we hurry to judge, to criticize. Discuss an issue? Why when we can mock someone’s appearance? Radio guys have made fortunes criticizing other people’s decisions, by mocking anyone who isn’t on their side of the aisle. Ego can do that.
I am more impressed with action, even if it is wrong. How does one fix the political system? By calling the side we disagree with names? By mocking? Be irritating? It’s a lot easier to scream than it is to quietly effect change.
This approach appeals to many, it appeals to others who believe in intellectual shortcuts, to those who already agree with you. Political talk does that. Calling names (and ranting on Facebook) is not action. Sitting on your couch and agreeing with Glenn Beck is no different than watching American Idol, “A little pitchy Glenn!”
Action speaks louder than words.
That’s where creation comes in. The life we choose to create can be that of a backbencher or that of someone in the arena, someone who chooses to serve, someone who makes a difference with their actions. If you really want to effect change, you create a life that is changed. You set an example, you lead, you serve.
I met an old friend this weekend, someone who is making a difference. She is a pediatric intensive care nurse and there are people walking on this earth because she put in the time to be educated and then dedicated to her job. Parents get to be parents because she is there, because she has literally saved young lives. She has chosen to become God’s instrument on earth. Making a positive difference is her calling.
I also spoke with a guy in his thirties this weekend, someone who has begun to wonder what he can leave behind, what his legacy will be. His mantra, at the moment, is “Remember me world, I was here.” He wants to write a book so future generations can reap his wisdom. I suggested, when he lets go of ego and begins to see himself as a part of something bigger, he will leave a true mark. When you get beyond your own ego and start to tap into the highest and best good of everyone, you have found grace.
My old friend walks in grace. So do inner city teachers, evil business types who use their wealth to improve the world and parents who read to their kids. It’s the quiet heroes who make the world work, who spread grace. Judgement excludes, grace includes. Grace is not about judgement, grace understands that no one makes a bad decision on purpose.
In Egypt, in Libya, in Wisconsin people are in action. Revolution is action, it is more than calling names, it is effecting change. Revolution is also volunteering to cut people’s hair at a hospice, quietly handing a homeless guy $20, rescuing a dog from a shelter, telling someone they matter.
Walking in grace is hard, it begins with service; with action. There’s a pretty good chance you can’t change the whole world today and there is an equally good chance you can change your world today. Before you judge, before you mock, seek to understand. We’ll all be better if you do.
Amazing Grace, I am a wretch, please save me.
Who can I serve today?