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“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” The Good News: This is literally “the golden rule” of the Bible. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, if you want to be treated with kindness, be kind to others.
As we are planning our summer “motor tour” later this summer in the upper Midwest, I think back to a trip to northern Wisconsin/ the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in 2014. It was partly a trip to emotionally say “goodbye” to long ago events and interactions which sealed my decision to leave the monastic life and be “in the world, but not of it”. It was also to enjoy the area around Green Bay, and it is beautiful.
Our last morning in Marinette, Wis., we were having breakfast and, of course, there was a big screen television with one of the Green Bay, Wis., TV station’s morning news broadcasts. My wife and I paid attention to the morning news anchor (something we invariably do; you can take the person out of the newsroom …) and agreed she was very good for what we considered a smaller market (not being judgmental. These are the facts). I wrote down their name, and we got home, I wrote the person an email complementing their talents, and offering to recommend them to one of the Kansas City affiliates who might be looking for someone with their skills.
It took a couple of days, but they responded, with the opening comment: “I read your email at least a dozen times. No one has ever complimented me here, much less what you’ve shared, the way you have responded.” They went on to thank me for the recommendation, but they had family in the area, and needed to stay put. I don’t know if the anchor progressed to another market, or just gave up.
It’s not only the professional thing to do, but it is simple human kindness (as well as Christian charity) to encourage one another, be there for one another, just be thoughtful and kind. If you are in such a workplace, count yourself fortunate. I have had both thoughtful and helpful workplace experiences, and I certainly have been in spots where resentment, anger, and change in organizational direction leading to vicissitude.
Suffice to say, this back and forth, kind words one day, sniping the next, has been around since the beginning. Moses had his fill of “these stiff-necked people”, Our Lord had to constantly bring the disciples back into focus. It’s human nature. We have the daily opportunity to do better. Let’s promise each other we will work toward the message in Psalm 133, “living in harmony.”