This is a kind of part two to the post about how you are precious. So, not only we are precious, but others around us are as well. I have often observed in society a disturbing trend where some people are treating others as if they were disposable. Sometimes, I must admit, that I am tempted to do the same. I have heard disturbing stories about parents who have abused and/or killed their child or children in the name of convenience or revenge on their ex-partner or spouse. In the workplace, I have heard of countless cases where the work being done is not ever appreciated or met with a “thank you,” but instead criticized or complained about because it isn’t met to perfect standards. Divorce and infidelity in marriage are very commonplace, especially here in the U.S, but other countries it is starting to become more common as well. How do we then take a stand against treating others as disposable and instead treating them like the gifts they are? Here are a few things I found effective in us leading the way in treating other people with value and dignity, instead of as commodities for our own selfish pleasures:
- View people as gifts to be treasured instead of commodities or annoyances.– What if we looked at each person we encountered today as a gift from God instead of as an inconvenience or as a commodity? I believe that every person we encounter is sent to teach us something about ourselves or about life. If we get to engage with a loved one or a friend, he or she is teaching us the value of joy, love, and friendship. If we have to engage with a difficult person, he or she is teaching us to be patient and challenging us how to love without expecting anything back. Also, every person we encounter, I believe, is put in our paths for a reason. For instance, I believe I met my current manager *Chris (NOT his real name) not only so I could get a job but also teach me how to love better and so God could refine my character through him, and help me grow in my job there. The pastors at my church were put on my life’s path (I believe) to help me further grow in my faith and to help support me in my life’s journey. Also, the pastors have helped me think of others more and I was put on their path to help serve with them too.
- Be grateful for every person who does something good, either to you or for the benefit of others.— At my job, for instance, if a customer goes out of their way to help me pick up a display that I accidentally dropped, I would say something like, ” Thank you for going out of your way to help me pick the display items up. I really appreciate that.” The customer doesn’t have to do that for me, but if he or she does, it shows that he or she is a decent and caring person, and we should applaud people like that, not only because they deserve it but also to encourage them to continue their thoughtful actions. If your child (if you are a parent) does something praiseworthy like cleaning up their room without being asked, or helping you cook a meal, you should teach them gratitude by expressing yours. This will not only lift the child’s spirit but also model gratitude that they can and should imitate if they see someone else do good to them or to others they care about.
- Know that each person is unique and cannot be replaced by anyone.–In a society where people are often not valued, we often fall for the lie that someone can be replaced by someone else. Yes, in a job situation, people are replaced all the time by others. Even so, we should be careful not to fall into this “replacement mentality” and let it influence how we treat other people. For instance, I had often wanted people I didn’t like or didn’t get along with to be replaced by another “nicer” person. I did not care about learning from them (much to my disadvantage) or finding value in them. This is how most people I have encountered think. However, if I had instead thought about how I could learn from them and how even they are unique and special, I would have been able to get out of that negative mindset sooner. No one, not even identical twins, has exactly the same DNA as another. Everyone is unique. Treat others as precious, because once someone is gone from this earth, you won’t see them on this side of the dirt again.
These are some ways we can value each person as precious. We all have value, even the people we don’t like or see eye to eye with all the time. Everyone is a gift to be treasured. Enjoy and value your gifts today!