I spent part of New Year’s Eve in the theatre with my daughter. We planned on Jumanji, but when we got to the ticket counter, the woman announced that our preferred movie was no longer available…. There’s a life lesson in here somewhere.
So rather than waiting an hour for our second choice, we went with The Greatest Showman; a musical. If you know me, you know I am not a fan of musicals. In many ways the movie was entertaining and had a great message, but again, it was a musical.
I found my nugget about three quarters of the way through. The temptress in the movie turned dramatically to the man she loved and said,
“When you’re careless with people, you ruin yourself.”
This took my breath away. How true is this! When are mistreat others, when we lack kindness, grace, patience with those around us, we ultimately harm ourselves. We may not feel it immediately, but lack of care for others gradually whittles away at our character, our connectivity to others. Since we are designed to be connected, carelessness with others actually works against our instinctual need to be in community with those around us.
If this is true, then the opposite must also be true:
When you are careful with people, you build yourself.
What a concept! Imagine how different our world, your world, would be if you were continually careful with people. I don’t mean kid-gloved type of careful, I mean conscientiously careful; a deep awareness of ourselves and our impact, type of careful.
I started thinking about what carefulness looks like in my life. I think carefulness looks like thinking about how my words will land when I speak them. I think carefulness means I consider my legacy, my attitude, my integrity. I think carefulness is gentle, patient, kind, gracious, empathetic, and attentive. As I reflected on this concept it occurred to me that people are worthy of my carefulness. We are fragile in many ways. A word, a glance, a tone, can make or break someone’s day. I want to be remembered as a woman who was careful with people.
So, my challenge to you, is to consider facing your new year with an attitude of carefulness towards others. Because if in fact carefulness with people builds us up, how then can we possibly lose? Seems like a win-win to me.
Wishing you all the very best as you embark on your new year.