We Need to Show More R E S P E C T

What do Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees have in common?

The following answer will surprise many people. Answer: none of these three characters were in the musicals "Oklahoma," The Sound of Music" or "The Music Man."

The other night, the City's Middle School put on its fall concert, featuring young men and women musicians (choir, band and orchestra) who "in concert" dazzled a packed house. Seeing young people publicly excel in music and/or sports after hours of dedicated work is a sight for sore eyes and a sound for sore ears.

During the whole performance, some young boys behind us talked continuously. I fought off the urge to turn around and say to them, "I'm sorry you do not have the capacity to appreciate all of this."

I began this letter with a contrast of three horror-movie characters against three colorful musicals with happy endings to highlight a truth.

We live in a world where there is a conflict of visions between people who are side by side in the workplaces, in schools and even in some homes. To put this conflict into perspective, I would like to quote the Bible (Philippians 4:8, 9) "…Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things which ye have both learned and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you."

Why do people anxiously await their first meeting with you in the morning, so they can tell you the latest "dirty" joke? Or it seems they can't wait to tell you of a recent real-life "Freddy Krueger" murder. Also, have you noticed, they like to repeat the gory details to see you turn white? I suspect the God of peace is not with these people.

I do not try to shove God down anyone's throat. This is my personal policy because of my respect for the free will of others. I don't believe like theistic fatalists that some people were already predestined for hell, with no choice in the matter.

Even when, in my own mind's eye, I can see the deliverer of impure things turn white as a ghost when I come back with talk about a God who loves them and wants a relationship with them and has a plan for them. I give them the liberty to first freely seek the capacity to appreciate what I would like to share with them. I just wish some of those without the God of peace had a greater understanding of granting liberty to others.

Very few truly understand the full definition of liberty. In order to fairly satisfy the question of "Whose liberty?" there needs to be some form of balance or trade-offs at all times. Let's all learn to show more respect for the free will of others.

---Kenneth J. Wolf #16 (11/02/91)

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