Recognition and Respect of Others
When I think of a lasting impact a group of people had, I think of the ‘Greatest Generation’ – those individuals that grew up during the great depression and into World War II. The term “The Greatest Generation” originated from Tom Brokaw’s 1998 book of the same name. In the book, Brokaw wrote, “it is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced.” He argued that these men and women fought not for fame and recognition, but because it was the “right thing to do.” Both my grandfather’s fought in WWII. They sacrificed and were willing to die because they loved and respected the values America stood for. My grandpa Cottingham actually lost a leg stepping on a land mine in Italy, and eventually died at the young age of 44 as a result of his injury.
In May 2013, Time Magazine printed an article titled ‘The Me Me Me Generation’ in which a young lady taking a selfie, graced the front cover. A line from the article stated the following: ‘Millennials are lazy, entitled, narcissists who still live with their parents’ – and it goes on to say why they will save us all. Save us from what? Time Magazine was promoting and glamorizing this type of selfish behavior. Maybe I’m just getting too old or something, but I did not agree one bit. Let’s take a look at what the apostle Paul wrote in the Bible regarding this topic: 2 Timothy 3:1-4 – ‘You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God’ ~ NLT. Wow! Very powerful words.
I believe it is very hard for people to demonstrate respect toward others and show them the recognition they so deserve when their primarily focus is on themselves. We have become so self-absorbed in our ‘me’ generation that we don’t take time to see and recognize the value and worth in others. Stop for a moment and think about the things you spend your time and money on. Is it for your own selfish pleasures or is it for the betterment of someone else? Jesus had this to say in Luke 9:23 – Then he (Jesus) said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
“Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, help us to focus on you and not on ourselves. Forgive us for being selfish and self-absorbed. Help us to love others more and find ways to demonstrate it daily. Thank you for loving us so much you sent your only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”