This powerful truth changed my life, though I argued against it at first. But after intense self-study, and listening closely to other people, I finally relented.
The evidence is undeniable — anger is always rooted in fear. When we peel enough layers back, whether we want to admit it or not, feeling scared of something lies at the core of our mad emotions. We have either been hurt and are scared of being hurt again, or we fear pain imagined or seen in someone else.
And I personally believe, this fact is the key to stopping the cascade of school and workplace shootings plaguing America. It will take time, intentionality, and many people committed to the cause, but I believe together, we can make the world a less volatile place to live in.
I ran across this crucial article today. It should inspire teachers, school administrators, business leaders, co-workers, and every person who walks on this planet. We CAN make a difference. We CAN become part of the solution. There IS something we can do.
We are all busy and have responsibilities, deadlines, etc., however, we can set aside intentional time to acknowledge others. Taking a moment to notice another human being, to express appreciation, to show them love and acceptance is not only good manners — but making this a practice could save lives.
In schools and workplaces, there are people who feel less than because they are treated less than. People feel invisible, because others act like they don’t exist. Human beings feel ridiculed, because they are made fun of. But we can turn this around.
You might ask, “How?”
Let me count some ways:
- Use the power of a smile and eye contact. These easy, yet powerful intentionalities can work miracles for a person who is having a bad day or a bad life.
- Use people’s names, to let them know you notice them as a human being. For years, I’ve made it a practice to ask wait-staff, janitors, and other commonly overlooked hard-working people what their name is, then I make it a point to say their name as I speak to them and to say, “Thank you.” This simple act personalizes a conversation and speaks appreciation.
- Don’t avoid those who appear sad, lonely, or even mad. You don’t have to get all up in their business, but you can say something like this, “I don’t know what’s going on, and I’m not asking you to share any details, but I can tell you are having a difficult day, and I want you to know I care. If you need someone to talk to, please remember I’m here and what you’re going through matters. You are not alone. If I can help in any way, even if it’s just listening, all you have to do is let me know.”
- Offer authentic encouragement. Look for good aspects in others, instead of trying to catch them doing something wrong. Point out the things you see in them that make a positive difference — especially note skills, talents, habits, and practices that might be taken for granted or overlooked. Are they the engine hidden beneath the hood making things happen? You might be the only positive voice another person hears, but that single uplifting message could be enough to pull them from a dark pit of despair.
- Be a person of your word. If you tell someone you’re going to do something, then make sure others have reason to trust you to follow through. Having one person you can count on for honesty, integrity, and even accountability, helps human beings feel secure and settled. Chaos, confusion, frustration, and fear lead to dark thoughts, and too often, to dark deeds.
- Resolve not to get sucked into the drama and debates we see on social media. Rise above and offer a positive outlook to help dim the darkness.
We all make mistakes, and there are plenty of people to point out our mess-ups. But how much would it mean for us to receive mercy, not getting the punishment we deserve? Or grace, receiving blessings we do not deserve? You know, the very same principles Jesus teaches and examples.
Never question that you make a difference, because you do. Imperfectly, yes, like the rest of us, but a powerful difference all the same. God created you on purpose, with purpose, so you could fulfill an abundant purpose. You, my friend, are called to make an impact.
The greatest gift we can give anyone is love and appreciation, I pray you are able to receive and give that precious treasure, all the days of your life. It’s not too late for any of us to make a fresh start with fresh faith — if we join forces in love, what a different world it would be.
Anita Fresh Faith
1 Corinthians 13:1
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (NIV)
Anita Agers Brooks motivates 21st century women and men to dynamic break-throughs, blending mind, heart, body, and spirit, as an Inspirational Business/Life Coach, International Speaker, Certified Personality Trainer, and Common Trauma Expert. Tune into her podcast, Tending Your Dreams, beginning in March 2018.
A multi-published, award-winning author, Anita’s titles reach a wide range of audiences in the Christian and general marketplaces. Her books include the Amazon Best Seller and Readers’ Favorite International Award Winner, Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, Barbour Publishing and CODE: Living Healthy Happy and Whole Submerged in Tragedy, Trauma, And Death. Her next book, Exceedingly: Stories, Skills, and Strategies for Unearthing Your Abundant Purpose, releases in 2019 with Kregel Publishing. You can find her titles at most bookstores and online retailers.
Anita fulfills her mission to help people make fresh starts with fresh faith, sharing hope and healing from the page and the stage. Connect and keep up with Anita on social media or at anitabrooks.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to inquire about having her speak to your group.