Four-letter words have a ….. reputation. There’s %#!~ and @$*&, and others. There are still others that enjoy a great reputation. Love. Care. Hugs.
And then there is this other four-letter word that gets a mixed reaction. Some cling to it because it sums up what motivates them day after day. Others keep it at arm’s length, or even further, because it’s expectations and demands.
Why the difference? Why do some cherish it while others are repelled by it?
There are those who are uncomfortable with the word because it might cramp their style. It would restrain their freedom to focus mostly on themselves. They would have to set aside their own needs and desires in order to be a help to people close to them or even people they’ve never met.
We are told that in order to be happy and fulfilled we must do whatever it takes to be self-actualized. It doesn’t much matter how it might affect the lives of others, as long as we are able to be free.
They may not acknowledge any power or authority higher than their own. Having blinded themselves to the image of God within, they glide through life believing that they are accountable to no one, a deceit that keeps them blissfully selfish.
But others see the word differently. They see it as a call to action. They know that although they didn’t seek it, they have a responsibility for people around them. They gain self-esteem by setting aside their own needs and desires in order to care for others.
There are a lot of things in life you can change. Regret is not one of them. They want to be able to know that they did their best to be helpful.
Some they help may never notice what has been done for them, or why. But those who respect and cherish this other four-letter word know that regardless whether their efforts are recognized or not, they are compelled to make the effort.
They may or may not succeed, but they must try so that the threat of regret might not haunt them.
They know others don’t see it this way. Yet knowing those others are repelled by this word, those who embrace it gain a level of pride the others may never know.
Whether they recognize it or not, they have learned the importance of this word from God himself. God has given them the drive to push themselves, to set aside the satisfaction of self, and the will to look after the needs of others. He leads the way.
They are determined to do whatever it takes to fulfill their voluntary obligations, summed up with that other four-letter word.
Dave Soucie lives, serves and writes in Indianapolis