The last many months have been very rough for our community, our country and us as human beings. I must admit it has taken a toll on me personally in a lot of ways as well. I have caught myself worrying more and laughing a lot less. I’m worried about my country, my family, my grandkids and my friends and neighbors and felt the need to share my heart.
One of my biggest worries and concerns is what appears to be an ever-increasing lack of compromise, forgiveness or desire to meet in the middle for common ground by many of my fellow citizens and that includes me. I’ve been guilty of this before but my desire to do and be better has never been greater.
As we all know, there will always be times when we don’t agree completely, but the more we totally disagree without the desire to talk, forgive or compromise, the further apart we will grow and that troubles me deeply.
We can’t ask others to do what we aren’t willing or committed to do ourselves and we can’t fix many of our issues without communication, compromise, forgiveness and commitment. I love this country, my family and my neighbors and I desire to be a part of the solution.
As human beings none of us is perfect. But if we don’t come together with an open heart and mind things will likely only worsen and the divide will grow wider and wider. There are some things we do because of personal gain, but the things we do for others because we know it’s the right thing to do always seem to bring us the most joy and personal satisfaction.
In other words, there are genuine things we do in our lives that make us feel better and teach us lessons about life in a positive and heartfelt way, all while being blessed and blessing others in the process. We do it because it’s what we want to do and it’s the right thing to do for not only ourselves, but others as well.
There are life lesson opportunities every day if we all just look and listen within our hearts. Spending time looking out for one another and being kinder to one another are the right things to do and always will be. I’ve always had a hard time being mean to someone I love or someone who was being nice to me.
We all know it’s a lot easier being nice and considerate when the process goes both ways. Please know that does not mean we will not disagree or even get mad at one another periodically. But how we handle or respond when we disagree does matter immensely. Digging in deeper with our division and dislike when we disagree or are mad at one another or others will not solve anything.
So please be on the lookout for those positive life lessons. Be a leader not a follower and nice even when someone else is rude or having a rough day. Take the high road every chance you get, and others will soon follow. The human heart has a tough enough job keeping blood flowing to our bodies to harbor any division, hatred, vindictiveness or ill will. Please don’t add any more stress to your life than is necessary.
I am praying that our citizens, communities and country will come together in a way unlike anything we’ve ever seen. I’m praying that our country and its people will put aside many differences and agree to disagree when we can’t agree or are divided in some way. We will always have likes, dislikes and disagreements at times, but we must be more open to compromise and forgiveness or agreeing to disagree when we don’t see eye to eye.
I’ve been thinking and praying about this for some time and I’m sure my message is a rambling mess, but please know I mean it from the heart. I ask only that you consider joining me in becoming a more forgiving, understanding, helpful, compromising and loving human being. I’m not perfect but I promise to be a better human being and ask that you forgive me when I fail or fall short.
Your friend, neighbor and imperfect human being that truly wants what’s best for all.
Kenny Martin is the City Manager/Economic Development for the City of Mt. Juliet.