Making a Good Atmosphere
In the past week, the news has been dominated by the death of Osama bin Laden and whether or not his execution was the right thing but I don’t want to discuss that. What has appalled me though has been the gruesome details broadcast repeatedly and the issue of whether the photos should be displayed as well. For right or wrong, this was a violent act, and the clamour for photos says a lot about our values as a society.
Why do we give more attention to negative actions than positive? Imagine you’ve been out driving. In your trip you experienced an act of driver rudeness and three acts of courtesy and patience. What do you describe when you get home? Most people describe the bad and ignore the good. What influence does that have on our children? They learn that the bad will get attention and good will be ignored. Talking about the bad may seem interesting at the time, but the emotional effect it leaves behind is unsettling. Talking about the good leaves a sense of peace and harmony in its wake.
Children will model their behaviour on what they see and hear. If they see us noticing kindness and good service and praising it, they will realise that being kind and of service is a good way to be. Even better, if they see us being kind, patient and of service, they are more likely to live that way. And then wouldn’t that make family so much more enjoyable.
Loving God, you surround us with so much good. We recognise that there is evil and sin in our world. Send us your Spirit of Wisdom so that we may celebrate the good in our lives and work to overcome the bad. May Jesus’ example of love in the face of hatred be our model and inspiration. We ask this in his name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb