By George Deeble
Some time ago I was in a shopping centre when a young guy, totally absorbed with whatever was playing on his headphones, bumped into me.
Because I was partially in the wrong, I apologised — for which I received the following reply: ‘‘So you orta, you old ****.’’
My initial feeling was to tell him what I thought of him — but I thought it would serve little purpose, and there was also the risk of getting my head punched in.
I don’t want to sound like an old grouch, but good manners seem to be on a downward slide in the hustle and bustle of modern living.
Periodically there is a plea by prominent citizens for an improvement in the way we treat one another, which often falls on deaf ears.
It’s a sad fact that it so often takes a catastrophe for people to show genuine care and respect for one another.
Recent bushfires have seen people working together in a real spirit of harmony.
As a society we are not beyond hope, as I witnessed in Melbourne during the Commonwealth Games. In the busiest day I have experienced in the city I saw people stepping aside for others, some giving up seats on public transport and some actually talking to strangers on the train. This was such a contrast to other times when most people avert their eyes from you in the street.
Jesus said: ‘‘Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.’’
Unfortunately the word ‘meek’ is generally interpreted as ‘weak’.
When we look at the strength of character of Jesus, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the word means gentle.
I once knew a man who could only be described as a true gentleman. I never saw him raise his hand or even his voice to anyone. He was a man who would always put the needs of others before his own. He was never aggressive and I never saw him lose his temper, even when people had taken advantage of his good nature.
Was he weak? Certainly not. He was meek in the truest sense of the word.
Oh, by the way, it was only after he died that I found out he was a highly decorated World War II veteran.
We can’t change the world but we can certainly affect the lives of those around us — and not only be blessed but be a blessing simply by employing a little more gentleness in our lives.