While having dinner with friends the other night, we were chatting about the upcoming filings for local governance; those positions like school board, city council, and mayor just to name a few. One friend mentioned running for city council. When asked why, this friend said it was because there was no reason to worry about retaliation. Our friend does not have a business in the community and also does not work in the community in which we live.
How sad. I would hope we would NEVER have to worry about retaliation.
This dinner conversation sparked a memory from my early years teaching future teachers.
One fall, many many years ago, I was appointed to mentor a colleague who was struggling with communication skills. At first I was honored thinking I must be good at communication especially since this was only my second year at this position.
I asked the Dean at that time “why me? It is only my second year.” Well, I quickly found out it had nothing to do with my personal skills. His response shocked me…
“Because you have the least chance for retaliation.”
I was a lot younger back then and didn’t even hardly know what retaliation meant. Let me define it just in case some of you aren’t quite sure either. According to Merriam-Webster.com, retaliation means, “to get revenge; to repay in kind.”
I was stunned by the Dean’s answer. My response was, “do people actually do that?”
Yes, I guess they do.
John 18 tells the story of Simon Peter retaliating when soldiers arrived at the garden to arrest Jesus.
“Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away!”’ ~John 18:10-11a
Amen to that command.
Some folks probably think I look at life through rose colored glasses. Maybe I do, but, I will always have hope for a world that does not retaliate. I will always have hope for a world that is only filled with people getting along, caring for each other, and loving one another. Hope…it’s all we really need.
In spite of Facebook being a platform for retaliation (and a lot of other nonsense), once in great while someone will post something that restores my joy. Study the picture below. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
This picture would be a lovely view through my rose colored glasses. Three opposing teams and no retaliation what-so-ever. This picture brings such hope and joy to my heart. From the boys, to the t-shirt message, to the words printed on the tent…all so uplifting.
Let’s put our swords away and stop retaliating. Let’s be thankful some are willing to run for City Council because most of us wouldn’t want that task anyway. Let’s be thankful some are willing to mentor others graciously. Let’s cheer each other on even when we are on opposite sides. Let’s empower each other.