Friday, October 12, 2012

Coming Home




Coming Home

Last week when traveling home I noticed a military man in uniform on our plane.  As we landed, the attendant asked us to remain seated to allow this soldier to exit first; he was escorting a fallen comrade home and needed to meet the casket as it was unloaded from the plane.

After everyone got off the plane, all of the passengers gathered at the windows in the terminal to watch this sad procession: men and women, young and old, black and white, soldier and civilian stood there silently and witnessed this very moving event.  On the tarmac next to the hearse were the family, an honor guard, and all of the ground maintenance staff – at attention, with their emotions clearly displayed.

The terminal was silent.  The crowd stood at attention.  And as the flag-draped casket was lowered into the arms of the honor guard, the soldiers saluted, the family consoled one another, and everyone in the terminal wept.

No matter what we think of war, fallen soldiers touch us all.  Every generation suffers war, and none has found a way to prevent it.  Every one of us is touched in some way by those who fight, and we can’t thank them enough for their brave efforts.

So we salute and cry, and reflect, when faced with a scene like this.

We need to do more.  If you see a soldier today, thank him or her; they serve and fight for all of us. Let’s hope and pray they all come home safely and soon.

Amen.

My message this week is about integrity:

"Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way." 

-Aristotle

Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) had a profound influence on the philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions in the Middle Ages, and he continues to influence Christian theology.

How do you normally act? Do you act differently in different circumstances, like at home or work, or when hanging out with friends, or when you’re playing or praying?  While some people may act differently in these different situations, most are who and what they are, and act the same.  Actions like: telling the truth, being open and transparent, making eye contact, not taking yourself too seriously, having a sense of humor, smiling and laughing easily, being kind, paying attention to details, treating others with respect, trusting others, and doing the things that make others trust you - these are rooted in common sense and are based on the simple notion that people do what they want others to do to them.  These actions show that you care about others.  And that’s what integrity is really all about: it’s a particular quality that’s acquired by constantly acting in a particular way.  Act like you really care today and every day, and see how others perceive and respond to you.

Stay well!

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