An acquaintance of mine died suddenly not long ago.

And though I was filled with sadness at his passing, something about the last time I saw him gave me a sense of relief. 

It could have been one of those days when we (my husband and I) just waved and drove on by, as we had done on many occasions. But one particular day, not long before he was gone, we stopped to chat with him and his buddy. 

Just a friendly “hello” and “how’s it going” type of encounter. But a smile was shared, and a chuckle or two….

I am sure we were the furthest thing on his mind the day he passed from this world to the next, but at least, in my heart, I knew we had shown kindness and thoughtfulness the last time we spoke.

And this leads into the reason for this article.

We live in a busy world, and a troubling one. 

It might give us pause to remember that someone we care about or someone we know and see on occasion, or even a stranger on the street may be gone in minutes – and the last thing they will have heard was what you said to them, or even more important, the last thing YOU will remember you said to them, either lifted them up, or tore at their soul.

I watch the news – unfortunately it seems to hold a strange fascination for me lately- and I see the streets of crowded “protesters” and “rioters”. And I watch them screaming and chanting and yelling at police officers and writing hideous graffiti on the store fronts and buildings. What if……

What if one of those individuals met their demise within minutes, or even days, of participating in these actions – foul words filled with hate, bullying and trying to intimidate others – is that all that will be remembered about them? I am afraid so…..

We live in very troubling times. Generations of disrespect compounded by lack of guidance and common sense have yielded what we see in the streets.

Paid protestors and rioters, who have sold their souls for a moment of “glory”. And the words they use, the language they paint on the walls, will be all that is remembered about them. Not much of a legacy for their lives. 

It’s all very sad. It’s all very disturbing. 

All I know, is it has become very important for ME to take pride in what I say, how I act, and what I do with others. Respect and kindness are winning combinations. And incredibly rewarding for the human spirit.

Lynn Peterson