Here's a blog I wrote. I don't know if anyone will be interested in reading it or not. I don't know if it sounds like I'm preaching. I don't know if it will make someone mad or if it will make someone think and inspire them or if they'll read halfway through it and think, this is boring but, bloggers blog even when they have nothing to say. I think I had something to say tonight. You all can be the judge of whether it's of any value or not. Personally, I think I just like talking to myself most of the time anyway, working through my own thoughts. Anyway, read it if you want to. - Jackie
I would think it would take a lot of political experience to learn how to gracefully lose a hard fought campaign for an office, either at the local, state or federal level.
I'm thinking of how well Senator John McCain handled losing the Presidential election compared to how Senator John Kerry reacted to his loss in 2004. Kerry didn't make any huge blunders post election but, he didn't handle it with the same level of grace that McCain handled it.
I said it takes "political experience" when maybe, that isn't exactly true. I don't know, maybe it goes deeper than that. I just know that losing is something that people, if they are blessed, are taught to accept, it doesn't come naturally to be graceful when you've lost something. It's a learned reaction. Sort of like when we don't really like the meat loaf but we say, "that was delicious," anyway. It's just the polite thing, the right thing to do, even if it goes against the grain and even if it's a "little white lie."
One of the things that was discussed in my Sunday School class this morning was that people, often, don't send thank you notes anymore. One lady in my class even spoke up and said she'd attended a bridal shower where the bride-to-be didn't even know she was supposed to send thank you notes for the gifts she'd received. I've been to weddings and showers where I have taken a gift or enclosed money in a card and never received acknowledgement for the gift, myself.
As an anecdote, I've been working with some girls, they're all sisters, who ride the bus to our church. I know their Mom works on Sunday, I don't know about their Dad, I've only met him once but he seemed like a nice enough guy. But, anyway, I've been bringing a quarter, 50 cents in quarters, sometimes a dollar in quarters, and giving them to the girls to put in the offering plate. If I give them more than one quarter, I let them decide whether to put it all in the plate or keep a portion of it. It's given me an opportunity to talk to them about tithing but, something I didn't count on was the opportunity it afforded me to talk to them about being thankful for what they did get rather than asking for more. It seemed no matter how many quarters I gave them they wanted to know if I had more quarters, and if I did, could they have them? Anyway, Robin pointed out in Sunday School this morning that manners seem to have fallen by the wayside, not in all cases, but it might be true in the majority of cases.
Thanksgiving is behind us and we all, those of us who are Christians and believe in God and that good things come from Him, anyway, spent time thanking Him for the things we have been blessed with. I thank Him for ongoing blessings, today. Having a church to go to and grow. Having opportunities to serve Him, hopefully not just in church but beyond. Sweet little moments when gently, I can tell a child to say thank you for what they got and be grateful, rather than always asking for more and explaining that doesn't just go for when I give you a quarter, they should carry that with them whenever anyone, anywhere, gives them something. That simple thank you without the follow up of, "can I have more" that is known as having good manners is an important lesson in our society. In a day of made-in-China-throw-away-toys, some children aren't taught that anymore and instead of complaining about bad parenting maybe we could create or craft little moments in their lives to give them those messages they might not be receiving at home. Just a thought.
Anyway, back to losing elections. I'm feeling generous, I think I have a weakness for that, when it comes to human failure. You see, I've failed a lot, at a lot of things. When it comes to losing gracefully, sometimes it's hard to say the right thing when your heart is telling you something else. Grace is when you do it anyway, when you say the right thing even though your heart is, maybe, screaming a different tale.
During the course of some of the local campaigns I noticed some unseemliness going on between this one and that one which caused me to stop and think about how difficult it is not to argue. I know I have a difficult time when I think I'm right and someone else is wrong not to "straighten them out," on the error of their ways, we all think we're the right one, don't we? Candidates for office have to be careful in their reactions.
You know, I think there once was a day when we all were more careful about our reactions. Certainly, there is something to be said for being out in the open, for sharing our opinion but, people used to talk about how to share opinions, that they should be shared gently, with kindness and love. Christians sometimes talk about doing that in the Church, about offering correction to a brother or sister in Christ with love as the motive, in gentleness and in kindness. Someone, I think, brought that up in Sunday School this morning too, because we were talking about how Christians show they are different. It was discussed that might be an excellent area to show that Christians are different, by showing kindness when we lose or are angry and have no reason to show kindness. I'm thinking it might even be more important to show kindness when we win.
Compassion was another word discussed in my Sunday School class. There could be more compassion for losers, in my opinion. No one likes to lose, and I'd think that someone who has opened their lives to total scrutiny, put their political philosophy and ideology on the line for all to see and often spent a lot of their own money on their campaigns, only to be rejected, might be deserving of a bit more compassion. Sometimes they might not react and respond with grace, sometimes maybe they could have spent a little more time in retrospection before they wrote that hot-headed letter to the editor of a local paper.
I can't help but wonder how I'd have reacted.
James 3:2; 7-12:
2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt[a] water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
There's a lot to say for that old cliche, "Walk A Mile In My Shoes."