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I don't care if this seems naive...

It’s amazing the inspiration you get when casually walking down the hall at work. On Wednesday this past week I was making the same trek I do about 10 times a day, and for some reason I just happened to notice two co-workers over on the side of the room talking. There was something about the way they were speaking to one another; they weren’t particularly joyful or exuberant, but they were holding themselves in comfortable confidence, which made me think of how much I enjoyed working with them. 

Then my brain did what it always does, and began connecting dots that normally don’t seem like they should connect.  I thought about how there’s no one that I work with that I dislike.  Sure, there are people I’m closer with than others, and people who I have more in common with or feel more comfortable talking to… but in the end I work with a group of really good people. When I say “good,” I mean they have good hearts and good intentions.

So it hit me, right then and there: I like people. I really do, especially once I get to know them!

I think most people, although imperfect, have good hearts and are usually trying to do the right thing... But the ones doing really bad things, evil things, well they just get more airtime.

Next time you listen to the news and they highlight another rape, murder, or war, making you think, “What is this world coming to,” I challenge you to remember the wonderful people in your life, especially the ones who:

  • bring people meals when they're sick 
  • give up a Saturday to help a friend move
  • volunteer at local organizations to help people in need
  • go overseas to help people in need in other countries
  • listen to you when everyone else seems too busy
  • ask how your day is going and really want to hear the answer
  • are raising kind and generous children
  • are patient with the most frustrating people
  • love to give hugs
  • give money generously to those in need even when they don't really have any more money to give
  • think of others before themselves
  • go to work every day and put in 100% because they understand what they are doing, no matter how small it seems on the surface, is making a difference in someone's life somewhere... 

These are the people we should be seeing on the nightly news. These are the people making a real difference in the world on a daily basis.

It’s so easy to be sucked into to the fear factory that is churned 24/7 on the TV and Internet. But what does being in fear of other people really accomplish? It isolates us and creates walls between us. It makes it easier to judge others, of course those who have been accused of crimes, but also people in general because they have been turned into “the other.” This barrier between people is usually based on what the “other” looks like, what they wear, the location where they live, their line of work, politics, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ability, or nationality, and on and on… anything that is looked at as different can be used to separate humanity.

Instead of letting the news dictate whether we live our lives in fear or peace, listen to Jesus who taught us “… do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Let’s enjoy each moment for what it is, delight in our relationships with one another, continue to love and encourage one another, get to know our neighbors, and pray for those who have hurt others deeply.  There is nothing to gain by reveling in misery, fear, and vengeance, but we have everything to gain by reveling in love, peace, and forgiveness.

I’m so thankful for the wonderful people in my life. The more I surround myself with their positivity, the more positive I become. I must admit, however, when I’m around negative people, I become more negative. Each person has a choice as to how they will respond to the negative people in their life, including how much time to spend around them.

So let’s make it easier for everyone… keep the positivity going in this world, turn off the TV once in a while, surround ourselves with those who lift others up, and share positive stories of love and kindness with one another. Love each other like tomorrow is our last day on earth, and don't let the news media steal our joy anymore. 

Tell us about someone you know who does amazing things for other people and should be highlighted on the news...