practicing goodwill in our individual corners

As we focus on all these good tidings of great joy, peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, I think of the ways we could each more wisely contribute to current culture. What if we embraced each of the above in more than a singular season? What if we valued and practiced such for all twelve months of the year?…

Good tidings means great news… great news of joy!

Peace on Earth… well, sometimes I think we think that means everyone from all factions of life on the planet getting along, embracing no more selfishness or conceit — which suffice it to say, that would be a wonderful concept. But I think it more means figuring this God thing out and figuring who we are in relation to him.

And goodwill… toward men, women, you-name-it. That means we are friendly, helpful and engage with one another with a cooperative, kind attitude and disposition. There’s a lot of people on social media and in D.C. who fail to consistently practice such. And there are a lot of us who justify their seemingly intentional failure because of the (D) or (R) that follows their name. To be clear, goodwill toward all should not be determined by a lone letter of the alphabet.

So how do we each wisely contribute?

Where can we each make a positive difference in our little corner of the world?

Of course, in our social media interactions…

Definitely, in our day-to-day routines — our work, our neighborhoods, our errands throughout the day…

But what about first in our families?

We all have families. We all also have moments or seasons of hurt, disruption or dysfunction. Additionally, rarely are the moments or seasons all one person’s (or the other person’s) fault; we each contribute. So what if we first practiced good tidings, peace, and goodwill there?

I was struck in recent days by the airing of the much publicized “Harry & Meghan” documentary series, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex publicly shared their journey — or “complex journey” as Netflix identified it. 

According to Forbes, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were given an estimated $100 million for the docuseries. The production then generously shared their litany of grievances with Harry’s family — and only shared Harry and Meghan’s perspective. There was no such thing as fair and balanced. There was also no admission of contribution to the dysfunction by Harry and Meghan.

I wish them no ill will whatsoever; no one this far removed can be certain of specifics of their motive. But let me just say this. I would have far more respect for the two former senior royals if instead accepting multiple millions to share with all the world all that was wrong with their family, they would have instead gone to the family privately and attempted to work things out. And if one extended conversation wasn’t enough, that they stay put, persevere, and do the selfless work it takes to reconcile relationship. That is goodwill. That would also bring to the rest of us far better news than anything seen on Netflix.

Personally this season I am grateful for my family and extended family. We’re spread a bit far this Christmas season and not able to see each other as oft as we like, and the reality is that life’s not always perfect. We sometimes hurt each other. It’s sometimes not all that fun. And each of us makes our share of contributions.

But we don’t keep score. We forgive fast. Learn much. Laugh, too. And love one another generously always.

Over and over again.

Such seems a wise contribution… in far more than our little corner of the world.