The signs are everywhere, “See something – Say something!” They started popping up after 9/11. Growing up, we lived with a similar mantra, “If you see something needs to be done – Do it!” Nothing annoyed Mom more than when a person could clearly see what needed to be done and did nothing about it. That ideology extended into every corner of our lives. If chairs and tables were being folded up and put away – we were to go grab some and hang them up. If there was something out of place – we were to put it back where it belonged. If someone was struggling under the heavy load of bags, we helped carry them. We opened doors, picked up spilled items, gave what we had to offer. If there was a need, Mom would try to fill it.
It got me thinking about why so many people feel that helping others is not their responsibility. Why do we sometimes wait for others to come along and do the job? I’ve seen it with students who throw trash on the floor, who rationalize their behavior by saying it’s the janitor’s job to clean up – not theirs. I’ve seen a similar sentiment when people see those who are homeless, sick, down on their luck – either the rationalization is that it’s the person’s own fault for being in that predicament, OR there’s some other person or group who can help.
I think we need an attitude change. Perhaps, if everyone saw what needed to be done and did it – the world would be a better place, a kinder place, a cleaner place, a happier place. After all, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?
James 2: 14-17 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
1 John 3:18 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
John 13: 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.