Love people, not things
Love people, not things
I could think of nothing more devaluing to a person than being treated like a consumable product; to be picked up, used and shelved at whim or maybe in extreme cases even chucked on the figurative rubbish heap.
I heard a story of a person volunteering to sell books on consignment for their local community. This lady had a real heart to see people empowered by information, so it was a great fit for her gifts. She felt part of the community, and she was a valued member of the team. Until she got sick. With a bad back, she couldn’t perform her duties. So when she informed the leader that she couldn’t volunteer anymore, what was the response?
a) Are you okay? Can we do anything for you at home? Thanks so much for all you have done! You’re awesome! Still continuing with contact and loving her just the same.
b) Can’t you still do it? We’ll get someone to carry the books for you. Plus, maybe ignoring her because she is no longer helping out.
Yep, being treated like a product devalues our very core, and can have us at therapy quicker than we could slip down the stairs. As leaders we need to make sure we are on the ‘giving’ side of the equation, and not ‘taking’. We’ll know if we’re crossing the line when a worker in our team gets a better offer and decides to move on – Are we happy for them? Or are we ticked off they can’t help us anymore?
Jesus knew more than most about giving and receiving, it was he who said, “it was more blessed to give than receive” -and he wasn’t talking about giving an insult, uppercut or cold shoulder. Jesus came to serve, not to be served, it wasn’t just talk, he showed us how to live. Jesus washed his disciples feet, after this he said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
I understand that we can get so focused on a goal or vision that we can we forget the ultimate task- treating our fellow humans with dignity and respect. In 1972 a plane crashed into a swamp killing 101 of the 176 on board, and it happened because the crew got distracted from their ultimate goal, to land the plane safely.
The plane was making it’s approach to land in Miami when a pilot noted the light indicating whether the landing gear was down, failed to illuminate. Was the landing gear down? Or was it a faulty light? The second officer went down into the avionics bay to make a visually inspection. Meanwhile, the captain put the plane into autopilot while they investigated, but he’d accidentally hit a switch which meant the plane continued into a slow descent that went undetected by the crew. It was dark outside with no lights to indicate they were headed for disaster, finally the first officer recognised their error, but with no time to right the craft. The investigation showed that pilot error was to blame, as they were preoccupied with the landing gear light and failed to monitor the other instruments.
We might have a great and noble vision to pursue, but we need make sure that the journey towards it doesn’t cause casualties or fatalities in the process.
“Love people, not things. Use things, not people.” Spencer W. Kimball (1895)