What did you call me?

What is in a name? To go further what is in a title? People seem to put a lot of stock into names and titles. Think about this for a little bit. Imagine meeting your friend’s son for the first time, “Hey Heather, come meet my son Tommy he’s a mechanic” or “Hey have you met my son Bob? He’s in the Air Force” It seems that the more importance that is place on a title by society the more impressed you are supposed to be when you meet that person. I get it, it does take more education and skill to do some jobs over others, but does the title automatically make the person a better person? I have a resounding no for an answer.

A few years back I worked in an animal hospital where titles were very important, to the degree that a DEGREE meant a lot. It also had to be the right degree, so say for me, I have a B. S. in Foresrty, but not one to be a veterinary technician. So even though I was able to get my license by using my on the job experience I was still seen as lesser than other technicians because I didn’t have that degree. It did not change how I worked or the kind of person I was, that was just the reality of that workplace.
Another example was at that same hospital there was a gal whose main job was to clean and maintain the hospital. She did not have any specialized training, or a title that would elevate her above anyone else, but what she did have made her a much better person than most people in that hospital including myself. She worked hard, had integrity, stayed out of the gossip game (and let me tell you, she could tell stories of the things she heard, but she never did). She treated everyone the same and didn’t get flustered. She is the type of person I want to aspire to be.

Another guy I know, you may know of Him if you read the Bible (Jesus) told this parable about a master who was going on a trip (Matthew 25:14-27). Before he left he gave money to three of his servants. To one he gave 5 coins, to another 2 coins and the last one he gave one coin. The master went on a trip and when he came back he called these three servants to to him and asked what they did with the coins. The first guy with the 5 coins said he invested them and earned 5 more coins, the second guy said he invested the 2 coins and got 2 back, and so with these two servants the master said well done good and faithful servant and gave them respectively more lands to watch over. Now the third guy he didn’t learn from his peers instead he played the fear of his master card and just buried the coin in the ground. Well as you can tell this did not please the master and he sent the servant away with nothing. All three were servants, not one of them had a special skill over the other one. Two showed that they wanted to do more, have more responsibilities last one chose not to. The three guys had the title of servants, not really a lofty title but because of the kind of people they were their immediate futures were changed.

Over the past few years I have known quite a few people. People that were in my life for a season, and people who are still in my life today. I have changed just as those people have changed. What I have noticed is this: of those doctors, and pilots, and mechanics, and stay at home moms/dads, and secretaries, firefighters, and nurses, and store clerks is that their titles were not what defined them. These people were defined by the type of person they were and are. Some of them showed there true colors and were the people in my life for just a season, and then there were those whose colors shown so bright it was hard not to appreciate how special they are. Names and titles are just that, names and titles. They do not make the person who they are.

You can be humble and strong, you can be kind but not a doormat, you can be really good and your job and take pride in it without being arrogant, you can take cues from the people you respect in your life and learn from them. I heard a sermon the other day where the pastor was talking about being in his first year of college and he received this instant message from someone at his uncles church. The message said something like this: I know you will be my pastor someday, you need to start acting like it now. Not surprisingly this guy was a little shocked that someone he didn’t even know would be brave enough to send this, but what this message did for him over the years he was in college encouraged him, convicted him and when he reached out to the person that wrote it, gave him someone he could look up to and learn from.

So here are some questions for you: What would you do if a similar message was sent to you? Would you throw it away? Would you take a good hard look at your life at the present? Would you figure out who wrote it and give them a piece of your mind? Would you change anything about how you act or how you think about things? I challenge you to think about these questions do they convict you or encourage you?

I heard someone say once they would rather listen to someone who thinks with their minds attached to their hearts, rather than someone who just thinks with their minds. Basically you can have all the knowledge in the world and have no one listen to you because you are arrogant about it, or you can have that same knowledge but be humble and have people seek out your knowledge. Which would you rather have? Until next time:

Humility is the essence of love and intelligence; it is not an achievement

J. Krishnamurti

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