My dear friend took her adorable young children to the local aquarium recently. I heard later that an adult in the crowd was so frustrated by their lot in life that they felt justified in bullying her six year old daughter. When my friend came to her daughter’s defense this woman tried to pick a fight with her! I feel profoundly offended for this sweet child and her mother. The world is changing. It used to be that we respected our elders and somehow the shift has turned so that some of our elders feel like they can vent on small children; like it will somehow make them feel better. It won’t. You can’t fix yourself by breaking someone else.
I recently overheard another friend telling a story about her beautiful teenage daughter. This girl has been in beauty pageants. She carries herself with the grace of a princess. And even dresses up like one to help host gatherings for terminally ill children. There was an older woman and her adult daughter nearby when this girl made an honest mistake. Not only was the older woman rude, but she went out of her way to track down this teenager to share her caustic comments. The woman’s comments were so cutting and offensive that I was stunned! Worse, they were said in a house of God where one would hope she would have had some self control.
And finally, it has bothered me forever that people use social networking to start fights and belittle one another. Some notable celebrities and bloggers have even removed pictures and posts because of all the nasty comments. Why people? Are we so bored with our lives or so inherently nasty that this is what we do behind closed doors? I’m disappointed! My brother posted a comic on Facebook recently that said essentially: “The Internet- an infinite source of information that we use to look at pictures of cats and pick fights with strangers.” I laughed at his post, it’s hilarious because it’s true!
I think of these three experiences and I ask myself what happened to spreading some joy into the world? It seems to me that in this world of ours we need each other. We need the love of the Savior in our lives, and in our relationships. And we need to teach the next generation how to find the peace we may have been denied. So how do some people justify breaking other people in an effort to make themselves feel better?
In October 2008 Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf (a high ranking Mormon official) told a story. There was a grand piano that needed to be moved from the chapel to the cultural hall next door. A group of men gathered to try to lift it, but as you can imagine it was a huge job. After many tries it was suggested that the men stand close together and lift where they stood. It worked! And the piano was easily transported.
He continued: “Although it may seem simple, lifting where we stand is a principle of power. Most of the (people) I know understand and live by this principle. They are eager to roll up their sleeves and go to work, whatever that work might be. They faithfully perform their duties. They magnify their callings. They serve the Lord by serving others. They stand close together and lift where they stand. Every person stands at a unique place and has an important task that only they can perform. Our Heavenly Father asks that we represent Him in the noble work of reaching out and blessing the lives of His children. He asks us to stand firm with the power of the Lord in our hearts and souls and give the job we have at this moment our best efforts.”
I love Elder Uchtdorf! He said it so well.
“We are here to lift and enlighten the world. We can and should be a positive force for good. Our children are watching and learning from our behavior. A harsh reality of life is opposition in all things. So let our behavior be so full of light and love that we blind those who live in the darkness. There are always going to be broken people out there seeking to break others. But the Lord doesn’t work that way. He heals all. He loves all. He lifts all who will come to Him. And with His support, the wave of good works we grow will make all the difference.”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Lift Where You Stand, October 2008 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.