RLL 53: '100 Years Since the Great War'
Today, on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the day that ended what would become known as World War I, I am struck with three thoughts that I wanted to share with all of you. These three thoughts occurred to me in relation to how to celebrate our holiday of Veterans’ Day, but they also are great reminders about how we should approach leadership.
First, we should do the work of remembering. Our brains are funny things, and when we fail to think of things often enough, we tend to forget them. This isn’t new or novel information, but it’s worth being reminded about: we need to be reminded and we need to remind ourselves of important information. That’s the whole purpose of holidays (literally ‘holy days’, or days set aside for a special purpose): to remember something important from our past. So today, let us remember the service and sacrifice that millions have made to give us the world that we live in today. It’s far from perfect, but it’s also better than it might be.
Second, we should be grateful for what we have and where we are. We live in a world with amazing technology, plenty of food and medicine, and a world that even goes out of its way to be beautiful (fall leaves, anyone?). God has given us this amazing planet to live on, and we need to show gratitude to the Creator of beauty and to the brave men and women who have fought to make it safe for us to enjoy such beauty.
Third, we should be humble and kind in all of our dealings with other people, especially with those that we disagree with. There are some serious disagreements out there, but if we approach each conversation and interaction with love and respect, with truth and gentleness, with humility and service in our minds, then we’re much more likely to have a helpful, positive interaction. Plus, it’s just good policy. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” Every single human is an immortal being created in the image of God, and when we remember that, we tend to treat them differently, better.
Today, let us remember those who have made our world possible. Let us honor them and thank them. Let us show gratitude and humility in our dealings with others. And most importantly, let us be thankful to Jesus for making all things, and let us look forward to His return.
Action Step: be sure to thank a veteran (or a lot of veterans)!