Alright, back to confession Wednesdays. The question for today?
What do you respect most in others?
Two things immediately stick out to me: respect for all walks of life and love for those who are difficult to love.
The person who first comes to mind possessing both of those qualities is Rose Ostler. I officially met Rose in my Youth Sunday School class. I had known her as a friend of the family for some time before.
Now, if you’ve ever had experience with a for youth Sunday School class, you’ll know that many of the participants are rowdy and tend to detract from the class. Right before I joined this particular class, one of the boys had climbed on the roof when Rose was supposed to be teaching a lesson. The only thing she regrets is not having a camera.
Having Rose as my Sunday School Teacher has helped me see something I consider a Universal Truth: we are all people.
Each of us experiences pain, joy, sorrow, excitement. We all have needs, we all have problems and strengths. Some are worse or better than others. Honestly, I think most of the comparison lies in the fact that we are all different. One person’s trial isn’t necessarily easier or harder than another’s. The trial remains so different that I do not see how we can compare the two. They are simply different. But all are people.
I am a person. You are a person. Dictators are people (though sometimes very unforgiving people). Heterosexuals are people. Homosexuals are people. President Barack Obama is a person. Those of different class, race and culture are also people. Those suffering below the poverty line barely able to eat and take care of their children are people in unfortunate circumstances. Those in the 1% are people who are much more fortunate than the rest of us. That’s it.
We do not know a person’s path. We do not know what they have gone through to get to where they are now. Those in the 1% may have worked hard to earn their money, they may not have. Those below the poverty line may have gotten laid off of their job, or they may have made a decision not entirely wise.
Who am I to judge what someone else has put in their life? Have I walked near their side the entire time, watching as they agonized over the loss of a loved one, watching as they put all of their effort into pursuing a degree only to be held back by monetary restraints or family obligations?
No. I do not know the paths you have tread, the steps you have taken. Therefore, I cannot judge you based on your place in life or your current situation. The only ones justified in doing so is the person who has been with themselves the entire way, or if you so believe, God. I cannot confess that I know God’s judgement concerning all things, especially when it comes to other people.
Our dominion lies only over ourselves. I will work to perfect my dominion. Once I have reached that perfection, then maybe I will be ready to move onto the dominion of others. I don’t expect to reach perfection in this life; I doubt it is even possible. Yet I will strive for it and strive also to love all that come my way.