— By Jorge Solá
My three year old son Manuel was playing an educational game on the computer when his six-year old sister Alondra demanded that he let her have a turn. Manuel’s
response was typical. “I was here first!”
I don’t know where Manuel picked that up, but it got me thinking. It’s a generally accepted principle of human society that those who “get there first” have more rights than those who get there after them. The first one to find a pearl in the sea, or strike gold or oil may claim it as his own. The first one to make a scientific discovery or invention may patent his find and claim any profits that may result. The first one to sit at a restaurant table has more right to it than the fellow who arrives later. The first one to settle in on a particular spot on the beach becomes the owner of that spot for the day.
In my children’s case, if one of them has been playing for half an hour at the computer, I tell him or her that it’s time to let the other one have a turn. Most other
parents probably do something similar. But if we applied that principle to every aspect of society, there would be absolute chaos. Can you imagine a landowner saying, “I’ve had this plot of land for quite a while, so it’s time to let someone else enjoy it”? Or can you imagine a man who has a good job giving it to someone else who is out of work and short of money?
Those examples are rather extreme, but what about little acts of selflessness? How often do you see people who have a seat on the bus or subway offering it to able-bodied others who have just boarded, simply because they look like they’d appreciate a chance to rest their weary feet? Are little sacrifices like that too much to expect?—Or do we fail to make them simply because we don’t see anyone else making them and no one really expects us to do so either?
It’s a matter of selfishness, when you get right down to it, and selfishness is part of our sinful human nature. But with God’s help we can break out of that mold,
overcome our selfish first reactions, swim against the tide, and do the loving thing.
If we give to him who asks of us, and if we don’t turn away from those in need, we will surely find that as we give, we will receive. Those are certainly revolutionary
concepts in this day and age.
If we would practice this kind of love, and teach our children to do the same, so many problems would disappear. The world would be a different place.
Courtesy of Motivated magazine. Used with permission.