Sometimes the oldies are the goodies – and even better yet they give us something to focus on in the times of tragedy. Aristotle (talk about an oldie! 4th century BC!) said “In the arena of human life the honours and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.”
I felt this was a very appropriate quote for what is going on in today’s world. We need to quit focusing on the politicians, the pundits, the reporters, the celebrities of the world. We should not be idolizing individuals who spend their time in and out of drug rehab, in and out of jail or in and out of reality. We should not be taken in by individuals who preach love and kindness, but only at the expense of the helpless, the poor or individuals who are different from anyone else. We should not heap honors on people who talk a lot but actually do NOTHING!
Instead, take a moment to say thank you to —
- those individuals who sacrifice for their country
- those individuals who help others in the time of disasters
- those individuals who choose to minister to the poor, the sick, the needy
- those individuals who alleviate others’ pain – both psychological and physical
- those individuals who teach our children
But don’t forget those individuals who show the best of being human not by doing the BIG things, but by showing those qualities in everyday life – so, remember to say thank you to —
- the waiter or waitress who serves you at your favorite restaurant
- the cashier at the local supermarket
- the teller at the bank
- the person who delivers your mail or newspaper
- the person who picks up your garbage
— for these people are heroes also — they go to work everyday and try to make a better life for themselves and their families. Most of them strive to live good lives and be kind to those around them.
It’s not just about doing the heroic things and saving lives — it’s also about living a good life and doing the right things. My mother always told me that the sign of a truly ethical person is what that person does when no one is watching. Which means that the ‘honours and rewards’ of which Aristotle speaks aren’t usually public — the rewards are simply knowing that we did the right thing.