Looking around our world and watching and seeing the decline of ethical, honest behavior is disconcerting at best. I wondered if every generation’s seniors who are looking back at two generations behind them have felt this way? When I look in the Old Testament at the depravity sited there: murder, rape, war, lying, stealing, etc., it appears as though the immorality has always been there. We think it is worse than it was when we were young, but are we looking now with different eyes? With the eyes of wisdom?
I recently ordered quite a few Christmas gifts online this year. In one instance, I mistakenly received two of an item I ordered. I was only charged for one. Instead of returning the item by mail, I took it to the customer service desk at a local store. I didn’t want them to reimburse me for the item I was returning because I wanted to pay for the item I received. I had to explain the situation to the customer service manager so they would just return the item to stock and not reimburse anyone. He could not quite understand why I was there. Someone in the warehouse had made a human mistake and I just wanted the store to have back what I had not paid for. Finally, he got it and agreed to take care of it for me.
I have pointed out or acknowledge human error mistakes before, like an item on the conveyor wasn’t scanned, only to run into opposition. It leaves me with the vague feeling that honesty in the world is diminishing. What kind of scary world is it going to be if we can’t count on people being honest anymore?
I came across this poem by Mother Teresa that answers some of these questions for me. As children of God, we are set apart, and our behavior needs to emulate that. I hope you are blessed by this encouragement.
by Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa devoted her entire life in the service of the poor, diseased, and under-privileged. The following verses, called Anyway, were written on the wall of ShishuBhavan, her home for children in Calcutta, India. They are based on a composition written in 1968 by Dr. Kent Keith called the Paradoxical Commandments.
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help, but may attack you if you help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.