RESPECT

Today the afternoon news show on 630CHED tackled a very tough topic. The hosts, Andrew Grose and J’Lyn Nye vividly illustrated the amount of abuse people in media receive via social media posts. As the discussion continued, it expanded to include the decay of civility and decency in society as a whole.

It is the driver who speeds up to block another driver who has been patiently signaling to change lanes. It is the driver who blatantly parks in the handicapped parking zone and glares at you, daring you to say anything about it. It is the person who leaves their shopping cart in the driving lane even though the cart corral is only a few feet away. It is the student who disrespects the instructor. It is the person who brings three carry-one pieces of luggage onto an airplane and forces their will on any other passengers nearby.  It is the person who opens their car door in the parking lot at McDonalds and dumps their garbage onto the pavement when the trash bin is only a few steps away. It is every person who elevates their own “rights” above the civil and respectful observance of the preference of the polite society in which they want to live.

Should we then be surprised when these people react in language that is vulgar, distasteful to the infinite degree and even oversteps the bounds of ethical and legal discourse? By many other actions, they exhibit in their life that they are the most important person they know. Nothing else matters. They think nothing of endangering, disenfranchising or denying someone else of dignity and respect.

I am not sure when we left Mayberry and landed in this harsh and brutal world. I am sure it wasn’t a sudden shift, but one that was at first supple, and then became more and more abrupt. Did it start when society started to declare itself independent of and superior to the teachings of the Good Book? That “love thy neighbour” stuff is rather important. Or was it that our smart people, the professors in our edifices of enlightened learning, taught our younger generations that “their truth” and “my truth” were not necessarily the same thing; that their “reality” was what everyone else had to cater.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is quoted as saying “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. That is why I applaud the 630CHED hosts for publicly discussing this topic. It is time that we not only clean up bullying on social media, but that we insist on the return of common civility and good manners into the public space. We must be willing to call out the abandoned shopping cart offender. We must remind the handicapped parking thief and the carry-on luggage mule that they are not entitled to impose their arrogance on the rest of us. We must be willing to counter the “individual rights above all else” philosophies presented to our students with examples of gracious living. Or maybe I should say “Grace-filled living”? And we must certainly, as a society counter and take power away from the people who are making our social media and internet such a cesspool of disgusting excrement.

Pursue what is right, good, noble, praiseworthy, uplifting, civil, neighbourly, intelligent.

 

Christmas Present

I received an early Christmas present. After being without a job for almost 7 months, I am so thrilled to say that I have accepted an offer of employment from a trucking company that operates between Alberta and  the USA.

Over the past 7 months, there were days where anxiety and doubt threatened to undermine faith. Yet I can truly say that despite being frustrated at times, my belief in God – His Timing, His Plan, His Goodness, His Love, kept me from all-out panic and despair.

I must also acknowledge the support and encouragement that I received from friends. At first I was going to list names, but I know that the list would be incomplete. For all those who are reading this, please remember to encourage those people who are around you! We often don’t realize how important an expression of support is to someone at that precise moment on that particular day. For you, my friends as a group, I say thank you!

There is one source of encouragement and nourishment that I had not previously counted on. Various sites on Twitter and Instagram do a marvelous job at posting beautiful pictures and messages of hope and encouragement. I remember one day in particular when I was feeling exasperated, bewildered and disappointed. Then, at just the right time, this popped up on my screen:

encouragementTo all bloggers, Instagramers, Tweeters, or Facebookers who take the time to post encouragement, I say thank you.

It’s Christmas time. We celebrate this season of Hope and God’s Love being presented as the greatest gift in the person of Jesus. For all those who can relate to the person in the picture above – Hear the angel’s message from the first Christmas (Luke 2): “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people. Today… a Savior has been born to you.” Your Savior has been born.

Merry Christmas everyone!Love never gives up

Roland Krebs

Still Have HOPE

Hope is Alive

 

It’s December 10th. Six months since I received the news that my job, the best job I have ever had was eliminated. Gone.

The last 6 months have been a roller-coaster that have seen me taken to the peaks of hope and confidence, followed by a steep descent, followed by back to back loops that left me dizzy and bewildered. Great first interviews, with promises of second interviews to come, suddenly went silent. Hope turned to doubt. Doubt turned into certainty that someone else was chosen to fill the job. Next day, repeat. Start over.

Hope – Expectations – Disappointment – Get up – Repeat.

If I was the only one in this position, I would be glad. At least other people don’t have to go through this journey. On the other hand, I have taken comfort from others who are traveling a similar road, or who have done so in the past. Hundreds and thousands are searching for work at any given time. Many, many more have given up finding work and are living on the fringes of society existing – just existing… barely. I am a lucky man. I have not missed a meal. I have family who still love me. I have a few friends who encourage me. I have another interview lined up. Hope is still alive.

It has also been my privilege to travel alongside a new friend. A friend I have not even met face-to-face yet. But given the journey I have been on, I understand her’s as well. Last year, at about this time, she received the delightful news that all her professional goals and dreams were coming true. She had graduated from the developmental Symetra Golf Tour to the “big leagues” of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).

In professional golf, only the top 70 players (approximately half of the players entered into the tournament) advance to the money rounds that are played on the weekend. The other players pack up their gear and start practicing, hoping for a better result the next weekend. Even those that make it to the money rounds on Saturday and Sunday are not necessarily making enough to earn a living wage. The distribution of prize money favours the best of the best. There is no room for error. Ever! My friend played in money rounds only 4 times in 2015. I am certain that her earnings did not come close to covering living and working expenses.

Within the past few weeks, those players who were at the bottom of the LPGA rankings went through a process of re-qualifying to play in the LPGA for next year. This process is a grueling 5 day tournament where only the top 20 players are rewarded with the desired full playing privileges. My friend did not quite make it. Is she crushed? Read on.

What is the common element between Kendall’s journey and my own? Each day we start the day with hope and do our utmost to make the day a success. Every time things turn out differently than we had hoped, we re-group, re-focus, get up and tackle the next day with hope. During the last year, we have corresponded a few times, encouraging each other. I admire the perseverance she displays. I admire the gratitude that is evident in her attitude, the joy at being able to participate in the game she loves, even though the results were not as she had hoped for. But mostly I admire her expression of faith.

Just a few days ago, my friend posted this to her Instagram site. She is in Africa, hoping that her skills will make a difference to people there. “Struggling to sleep my first night in Africa. Reflecting as always. Analyzing my year. Wondering my future. Content with my situation. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be even if it’s not where I had envisioned. I’m hungry and determined for next season with a grateful heart. #Godhasaplanbetterthanmyownplan #setevenbiggerdreams #insanelyblessed”.

The reason I am posting this is to encourage all who struggle to make sense of their life. What do we do when the job market turns against us? What do we do when our occupational or professional dreams do not turn out as we envisioned? Where do we turn when we feel we have reached the end of our endurance to take even one more disappointment or one more crushed dream? I like Kendall’s response.

  1. Take a look at what you DO have. Gratitude and thankfulness is the extra margin of fuel still left in the tank.
  2. Go to “Africa”. Change the scene. Change the conversation. Set even bigger dreams. Serve others. It’s amazing what can happen when we focus on more than our situation.
  3. Realize that God does have a plan. A better plan.

Kendall, thank you for the reminders. Today, 6 months without a paycheck, I am following your example. And I hope that all others who are struggling with life’s roller-coaster ride do the same. I am grateful what for what I have. I am thankful for the hope that is within us. I am thankful for the promises of God. I will seek to serve other people today.

As we approach the end of 2015, many of us reflect on the year that was. We look back and see some successes. We see some failures. A roller-coaster with its exhilarating highs or heart-stopping twists and turns, or the fabulous game of golf; Whatever analogy you wish to use, use it. We remember the over-par rounds, the hazards that kept us from enjoying a good paycheck. But we also remember the feeling and the smell of the freshly cut grass, wet with dew. We remember that perfect shot that dropped only inches from the pin. We remember the sunrises and sunsets. We remember that life is good.

2016 is only a few weeks away. Hope. Dream. Tee up the ball on the first hole of the new year and let ‘er rip!

“God, if today I lose my hope, please remind me that your plans are better than my dreams.”

Roland Krebs

https://www.facebook.com/rolkrebs

To read more about Kendall, check out her website http://www.kendalldye.com