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Loving your brother and sister as yourself



As we start 2024, we have a unique opportunity to change old behaviors and to start new ones. It's easy to think that our actions don't affect others, but we're fooling ourselves if we believe that.


(Disclaimer: This is a bit of a rant according to my wife, but I'm contrasting drastically different behavior) ๐Ÿ˜‰


Let me digress for a moment. My wife and I do quite a bit of traveling and meet many different people from diverse backgrounds. While traveling, we see all kinds of behavior. If you ever thought no one watched what you do, surprise!


Everyone watches others, both with what they say and especially what they do. We fool ourselves if we think that our actions don't matter. They do!


Let me give you a couple of examples:


We were in Costa Rica about three years ago. There weren't many people staying at the resort we were at due to Covid, so the management opened up the hotel to locals for weekend getaways. Great idea!


The only problem is that many people have become very narcissistic since the invention of the smartphone. A young lady who was barely dressed decided to FaceTime with someone and rotate her phone and body constantly in contorted positions for quite awhile right in front of us after cavorting with her boyfriend on the lounge chair.


Needless to say, this was very hard to ignore and would have been better done in private. I mention this for several reasons.


Firstly, if you want to show off your body on the phone with barely any clothes on, that's up to you. But, the rest of us don't need to be witnesses to your exploits.


Secondly, this is far from the only time that we've been 'exposed' to such an exhibition. What used to be something only done in private is now broadcast to everyone, willing or not. Where is tact or modesty?


Thirdly, this is the same thing as people who have to bring animals on aircraft. For those who suffer from allergies, many are unable to travel. This seems very unfair to others. Or in other words, where is the love for my brothers and sisters? Do I have to have my way all the time even when it causes discomfort to others? We pay to have someone take care of our animals at home while we're traveling and others can do the same.


Lastly, if we all take a step back and think for a moment about others and not just our own comfort, life would be a lot more pleasant for all of us.



Ultimate Sacrifice


Many years ago a man named George Lansing Fox served as a Chaplain during Workd War II. The following is the story of Chaplain Fox and his three fellow Chaplains who made the ultimate sacrifice for others.


"In January 1943, Fox and his fellow chaplains boarded the SS Dorchester, which was carrying some 900 soldiers to the United Kingdom.


On February 2, 1943, the German submarine U-223 spotted the convoy and fired a torpedo which struck the Dorchester shortly after midnight. Hundreds of men packed the decks of the rapidly sinking ship and scrambled for the lifeboats. Several of the lifeboats had been damaged and the four chaplains began to organize the passengers. They distributed life jackets from a locker; when the supply of life jackets ran out, each of the chaplains gave theirs to other soldiers. When the last lifeboats were away, the chaplains prayed with those unable to escape the sinking ship. 27 minutes after the torpedo struck, the Dorchester sank with 672 men still aboard. The last anyone saw of the four chaplains, they were standing on the deck, arms linked and praying together." - Reference: Wikipedia, January 13, 2024.


This story speaks for itself and there's very little that can be added to it except to say, the memory of what the four Chaplains did has lasted for more than eighty years. The things we do for others will also last, whether good or bad.


Wouldn't you rather be one of those who people remember for kindness and love? Let's seek to live well in this new year! And God bless you!

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