Happy New Year. Can you stand one more resolution? I hope you’ll join me. Here it is:
Say something encouraging.
That’s it. Doing so daily would be nice, on the way to making it a habit. But start small if you want. Just don’t drop the idea. Make a point of encouraging and thanking someone you know who’s living out what “pro-life” means, whether in little ways or grand ones.
Don’t imagine that this comes naturally. Perhaps because I spend a lot of time in a political environment, I’m keenly aware of how easily gratitude and encouragement get shoved aside, even among fellow pro-lifers. I need to practice gratitude and practice noticing the good things, because otherwise impatience takes over … along with grudges and a hypercritical eye. I know what longtime political activists of the pro-life persuasion can look like, because I can see myself in the mirror: thin skin, long memory. Overcoming that requires a resolution on my part to seek out good work and be grateful when I see it.
This isn’t a phony everything’s-wonderful attitude – far from it. It’s because respect for life is taking a beating in so many ways, big and small, that I need to push back. One way to push back is by cheering when I see friends and neighbors and even perfect strangers who are showing me a better way to go.
I’m sure there will be plenty of times this year when I’ll be critical and blunt and raise some bruises. God save me from thinking that as long as I’m offending the right people, I must be on the right track. Speaking truth includes recognizing when good things are being done. Being silent about those things is just another way of kicking the truth to the curb.
So – say something encouraging. That goes on the resolution list. Who’s with me?