Society has laws in place which we should follow and conform to to keep people safe. Rules are very important and very crucial, especially when dealing with a lot of people. If there were no rules, we would have chaos. And when people decide those upholding those rules should be punished, we are in trouble. People want other people to follow the rules and complain very loudly when they don’t but they don’t always want to follow them themselves. It is horribly unfair. And unfairness is also a part of society. Norms seem to supercede that. However, when we get into rules that force contortion of one’s beliefs rather than conformity, there is a disconnect, a very real problem. When lawmakers think with their own personal agendas, against the common good, there is a forcing gradually of people to follow laws against their religious or moral or ethical internal beliefs. Then we have chaos but also some sort of tyrannical dictatorship where people don’t matter, only the agendas matter. That is very dangerous and a form of terrorism in of itself. when we go against our beliefs, we lose our identities and voice and freedom. So contorting is not the way to go. We are not obliged to follow unreasonable requests, rules that go against our personal freedom. We are at liberty to not follow those rules or just follow it until it comes to a point of no return to our identities. Because when we face the judgment after this short life is over, we have to answer for what choices we made. And I believe if we act against how we know we should act, even if we are persecuted for that, we will be held accountable for that. Dwight L. Moody has a story about that. He picked up a hitch hiker, as he used to a lot, and the guys pulled a gun on him as they were driving down the road and told him to pull over. Moody kept driving. The guy told him again and Moody calmly kept going. The third time, Moody asked the guy, “Look, are you threatening me with heaven?” and took him right to the police department. We are responsible to hold to our beliefs or we cease to be who we are supposed to be. We cannot live our lives in fear but in faith. So rules that don’t go against your faith, follow those. We are obliged to and for good reason. But rules that go against our faith, we cannot every obey those. Our country would not exist if we did not believe that. It was founded on faith, despite what others would tell you. People tried to come to our country out of greed. They did not succeed. But when men came to escape others imposing on their faith, there was success. God takes care of those who obey Him. He doesn’t give two shakes about us obeying people who disobey Him. That is my belief. I believe I am right. 🙂 Doing what is right is rewarding, even if it hurts a little at the time. It is always worth it. Always worth it.
Being reared in rural Michigan about 30-40 years ago, there was great emphasis placed on being nice. In fact, there was such a push for it that there were actually negative consequences when you were not nice, some making it difficult to sit down for a while. And it was explained in one way or another by a seeming multitude of people (parents, teachers, neighbors, random town folk, church folk, etc.) what being nice consisted of. And since I have noticed a myriad of people around about me and my children lately seeming as if they have not had similar lessons, I wish to share my “nice” knowledge with the masses. Perhaps some of my recent register workers or stock folk at some stores I have been in of late (and even managers, yikes) may read this and start applying its suggestions. Now, warning ahead of time, you may not ever get a reward for being nice. In fact, you may have severe repercussions such as surprise or funny looks or suspicion placed upon you. However, there may perhaps be some vague rewards like, oh I don’t know, a promotion or maybe a smile or gratefulness. The possibilities are endless. Here are some good starting points. 1. It is nice to look a person in the eyes who is speaking with you. This shows the person you actually care what words are coming out of their mouth and maybe even that you give at least some inkling of a care about your job. It also conveys something rare and mysterious as well as quite fragile… respect for another human being. Since we are all made in the image of God on purpose, we are all due this respect but be one of the first to actually convey that and you will come across as “nice”. This is a good thing, believe it or not. 2. It is nice to help someone who needs help. I know this is a little shocking, especially if in a hurry to do something for yourself, but no one is asking you to give up your heart while you are still in need of it, just a helping hand now and again picking something up, holding a door, bringing to attention when someone drops their keys, etc. These things are nice. You would want to be helped if you needed it, right? This particular step on the ladder to niceness may actually be met with thankfulness. Maybe not, I mean not everyone is nice, remember? Which brings us to 3. If someone nice helps you in any way, do say ” thank you” with a smile. Why? Because it is nice to do so. It is so much nicer than sticking up your nose as if the entire world should bow before you and your greatness. So smile and say “thank you” to anyone nice enough to help you with anything. Respect the rarity of that. Respect the nice help. Be nice back. We will leave it at these three practices as a good start. Follow these simple guidelines and you will find, oh shopper at Walmart, that being nice is very… well, nice.