And it weighed heavily on my mind.
And then I saw this video, though it's been floating around my social media, and even in my Youtube notifications for a bit now, I'd not take the time to actually watch it until this morning.
I hope this video drives home a message for so many. And not just our youth who are in Jr. High/Middle School and High School. But for we adults as well. The dynamics are there in our workplaces, in our playgroups, in different organizations we're involved in, and in the people who cross our paths in life in general (road rage anyone?). It's also there in our homes with our own children and spouses. A lot of us have the situations where we're dealing with ex's and ex-family, and I know that I've been bullied by an ex-family member that I used to love and respect. But I know I've also felt the affliction of the feelings that make us lash out at people.
"I imagine that every person on earth has been affected in some way by the destructive spirit of contention, resentment, and revenge. Perhaps there are even times when we recognize this spirit in ourselves. When we feel hurt, angry, or envious, it is quite easy to judge other people, often assigning dark motives to their actions in order to justify our own feelings of resentment."
"This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
Stop it!" (Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Merciful Obtain Mercy, read it in full HERE).
I've been on both sides of this spectrum.
I'm a recovering bully.
At the old age of 11 years I had a quick mouth and would say whatever I wanted to and about people, even if I knew it was hurtful. Even if I knew it wasn't always true. At that time I never thought of myself as a bully. My friends laughed and thought I was funny and the only reason I did it was for the positive attention I felt I was getting. I looked at myself as being more of a comedian.
Which I think might be the case with the boys in this video.
I lost a lot of those friends because of my behavior.
As an adult I took on the mantra to never speak ill of anyone for any reason. And I feel like I had true friendships, friendships that proved to be solid at the difficult time in my life when I needed them.
And I watched how the actions of someone who used to be so beloved to me, someone I greatly admired and respected, turned on me in a cruel manner, either ignoring my presence altogether while I stood there before them, or simply giving me dirty and hurtful looks, not even trying to mask the contempt that was being felt for me.
No matter how justified we think we are when it comes to this treatment of others, no matter how flippant we think it is in passing, no matter how much we think we have the right to be hurtful because we have been hurt, the plain and simple truth is that we are wrong.
And we must stop it.
"Do you harbor a grudge against someone else?
Do you gossip, even when what you say may be true?
Do you exclude, push away, or punish others because of something they have done?
Do you secretly envy another?
Do you wish to cause harm to someone?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to apply the two-word sermon from earlier: stop it!" (Uchtdorf HERE).
We don't know the other side of the story. We don't know why people act the way they do, even if we feel we're close enough to the situation, we don't know. We don't have the right to say things or act in a way that portray others in a way that is less than ourselves, even if we think it's just in passing or just in jest. We don't even have the right to lash out when we feel it's deserved. They've hurt us and we have the right to act that way, they brought it on themselves, we certainly are justified are we not?
"Our Savior has spoken so clearly on this subject that there is little room for private interpretation. 'I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive,' but then He said, '… of you it is required to forgive all men.'" (Uchtdorf HERE)
It is my job to love.
It is my job to open up to everyone and make sure that I'm the friend that's there when anyone needs one.
It's my job to make sure there is harmony in my home, in my work place, in my organizations, in my associations, and yes, even on the road.
It isn't my job to be concerned if anyone else is doing their job with this. It's just my job to make sure that I'm doing it, myself.
It is not my job to dole out judgement and payment.
It is my job to forgive.
That's a pretty big job.