In Nicaragua, so much of their society is gracious and kind. It took me some training to learn some basic courtesies like...
- If someone comes into your house, get ready for a visit... offer them a chair and something to drink.
- Always greet people when you first see them and ask how they are.
- Always say por favor (please) and gracias (thank you).
- When someone says con permiso (with permission or excuse me) always respond with suyo (it's yours) or pase (please pass).
And yet there is also a mentality that our Daniel has labeled "the pinata mindset"... In traffic, grab whatever space you think you can grab and the biggest and loudest pushes everyone else out of the way. It is "me first" and "my agenda is more important than yours".
You can find this "me first" mindset in so many societies. "MY freedom" trumps yours. My not wearing a mask is more important than your health or the health of your loved ones. My owning any type of gun out there is way more important than YOUR safety or the safety of your family. My desire to drive whatever vehicle I want is more important than future generations' air.
This attitude of "me, my, mine" has even moved into "Love your neighbor as you love yourself". I have heard sermons on, and read devotionals on "you have to love yourself before you can love others". It is just another version of focusing on one's self instead of others.
I do recognize that for broken people loving others is hard, but I have known homeless vets suffering from PTSD reaching out and having the backs of other broken homeless people.
I knew a woman with multiple personalities due to intense, excessive child abuse, who showed me love and care.
I have known people suffering from schizophrenia to reach down and lift someone up.
|Bossman holding Coury|
What is "love"?
Love is patient and kind. Love is thinking of others' needs, not your own wants or agendas.
You've heard "there is no I in team".... Well there is no I or Me in love.
In the gospels the moral of the story of the Good Samaritan was "do unto others as you would have them do unto you.". And what was done? A beaten, robbed man was left bleeding by "good" people, while an outcast bandaged him, paid for his housing and food, so the injured man could mend. And then the helper checked in on him later, ensuring that he did indeed heal. Society's outcast put his own needs, his own agenda, his own time aside for the abused.
The Good Samaritan had the injured man's back.
That is love.