Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bright Star...

Don't get me wrong, I love him to bits, but Shelley was the strange one. And Byron was the cad... and Keats.. Keats was the saint and so, my favorite. This, is his love story and I think that he would approve.. It is hold-your-breath exquisite.

Little c gives her first talk in church...

on Valentine's Day ... and it went perfectly. She stood up straight, pronounced all her words with care.. even gratuitous which was the one giving her a bit of trouble. She did a fantastic! This is what she said....
Respect: Charity’s Sacrament Meeting Talk for February 14, 2010

A respectful person thinks of others. When they are a member of a class, they listen attentively and do their best to learn. A respectful person is careful with things, they protect and care for public property and the property of others. They don’t make a mess or they clean up after themselves. A respectful person tries hard to make sure their words never sting. A respectful person is kind to the elderly and to children and doesn’t look down on those that need extra help. A respectful person uses clean language and dresses modestly and appropriately. A respectful person takes the time to learn and practice good etiquette. A respectful person is mindful of others by making great efforts to be on time. A respectful person is a careful driver and makes everyone feel safe and comfortable. A respectful person does not do anything that will embarrass himself, his family or his friends. A respectful person is a grateful person. Respect demands that we step out of our own shoes enough to have empathy for others and to care for their feelings, for their property, for their time and for their safety. Jesus Christ exemplified respect in everything he did.
In his talk, Cultivating Respect, Terrance D. Olson tells a story about a class being taught by a substitute teacher. Substitutes are often the target of pranks because they often don’t have real authority in a class. This class decided that they would make a game of tossing raisins into the substitutes’ hair. When the students did this, they showed that they did not have respect. They robbed from themselves an opportunity to learn. They embarrassed the substitute, the regular teacher, themselves, their parents and their school. When the teacher returned she asked why the students acted so rudely. The class responded that the substitute was boring and the teacher said, "Even if that were true, does that justify treating someone disrespectfully?" Silence followed because the students knew there was no justification for their behavior.
One time we were playing at the park and one of the children started hanging on the branches of a new tree the city had planted, her older cousin took her quietly aside and said, "This little tree is trying so hard to grow up. When it becomes a big tree we can climb it and it will shade us while we have picnic and it will make air for us to breathe, but it can’t do any of this if the children in the park don’t protect it." When we respect property, we respect people. If we keep our feet off the furniture, keep track of our winter coat and drive the family car with care, we are showing respect for our parents and for their wallets. We show that we understand how hard they work to make things nice for us. Our parents know that they can send us to our friend’s home and know that we will respect that families property and that they will be glad to have us again in their home. It is difficult to remain great friends with those who don’t respect property.. they are too expensive.
In our society, the media is a poor example of how to behave and to speak. Sometimes when a television show tries to make fun of poor behavior, the weak minded rather than laugh at it, copy it instead. In his book Standing for Something, President Hinckley quoted, "In recent years the media have raised boorishness to an art form. The hip heroes of movies today deliver gratuitous put-downs to ridicule and belittle anyone who gets in their way. Bad manners, apparently, make a saleable commodity..." he continued, "Sloppy language and sloppy ways go together. Those who are truly educated have learned more than the sciences, the humanities, law, engineering, and the arts. They carry with them a certain polish that marks them as loving the better qualities of life, the culture that adds luster to the mundane world of which they are a part, a patina that puts a quiet glow on what otherwise might be base metal."
When we become self-aware, we know that our words carry weight and they can either lighten the burdens of others or can make them greater. We avoid gossip and are careful with the good names of others. Our words are kind, even to those whose behavior we may not admire. We do not tease to the point of stinging.
A respectful person is safe. They are careful with themselves and with others. They make others feel safe by their actions. They do not hit and do not hurt. They remember that their bodies are gifts from a gracious Father in Heaven and that health and well-being are a prizes beyond price.
When we are respectful, we have empathy for others, truly a Christ-like attribute. It was Jesus, who had empathy for the 5,000 and fed them with loaves and fishes. It was Christ who washed the feet of his disciples. It was Christ who said, "let the little ones come unto me." He walked great distances to be with his friends when they needed him. His words were soft and kind and his touched always healed.
I have a testimony that when we are respectful we are helping ourselves to become more like our Savior. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.