Yesterday, I mentioned that, on a recent date night, my wife and I took in a movie.
While I shared the most important lesson from the day (in yesterday’s post) there was an observation (at the movie theater) that caught my attention… and I thought it worth comment. I think it is the central issue that is plaguing our current culture.
While watching the movie, there were several serious annoyances that continually disrupted our evening…
First… after the movie had begun (and the theater was dark) a fair amount of patrons (late for the movie) walked in and stumbled their way around to finding an available seat. After this first aggravation, there was an almost constant commotion going on all around us. Several people were talking (some commenting about the movie, some revealing the plot line, some explaining parts of the movie that their friends didn’t understand). Then, at various points in the movie, other people would get up, stumble their way into the aisles to exit the theater for refreshments or restroom breaks, or to talk on their phones, etc…
Now, I don’t ever remember these kinds of issues being this blatant (even only a few years ago). When did we, as a culture, lose sight of the fact that there really ARE other people around us – and it is right and proper to cosider how our actions might affect them?
It seems to me that simple consideration for others is not only becoming an issue in our culture… it is becoming something completely lost. It seems, we don’t even consider being inconsiderate a problem anymore.
Then, it occurs to me, that this may be a larger problem than we first realize. Think of our political structures, of the divisive way in which we handle problems, of racism, of bullying, of all the ways in which people abuse and mistreat others.
Think about any issue that dominates our headlines – and how that issue would be resolved (or never become an issue) if we all held to the constant of consideration for others around us.
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised… we are quickly becoming a culture that has kicked God (and His “outdated ways”) to the curb. The whole popular concept of “tolerance” is just a humanist way of trying to impose simple consideration on others – without really considering what is at the heart of the matter.
It was God Himself Who gave us the key to how to live in true consideration of others. He put it this way:
Treat other people like you would want them to treat you. Consider how your words or actions just might affect others… before you do or say.
Jesus even told us the extent of this kind of consideration… “This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) Jesus is telling us… consideration for others defines everything that is right and good.
There is no doubt that we are in trouble as a culture. When people live only for themselves – and couldn’t care less how our words and actions might affect others around us, we can do nothing but implode.
That, it seems to me, is what the headlines are telling us every day.