Not only do true believers hand out fair trade chocolates along with the appropriate literature, they have their children give it to neighbors when they receive their own treats. One man sees Halloween as an ideal time to educate undiscerning chocolate consumers. In the face of such conviction, commitment and certainty I can’t help but think… what a douche!
Did Mother Teresa’s family ever say “Good Lord, someone needs to get that girl a hobby”? Was Martin Luther King Jr. a good time at a party? Did kids actually want to sit by Jesus at school… was he a drag or a genuinely likeable guy?
I like to think they were kind and winsome; able to communicate without alienating, because they sincerely cared about others. Even the little things like making sure there is enough wine at a wedding and noticing grubby children while the VIP’s clamored for attention. Perhaps they could tell us how to crusade for a cause WITHOUT being obnoxious, but I’m pretty sure it goes something like this… Do not judge or you too will be judged (Matthew 7:1).
I’m not going to lie, I have been on both the giving and receiving end of this. Most of us have: stay-at-home moms or moms who work full-time; kids in private, public, or home school; those who read Harry Potter before bed or those who demonize it. We are always drawing lines and feel the need to let others know that:
I am/My kids are/My family is/My cat/dog/pet iguana is…
ethical/godly/organic/grammatically correct/educated/potty trained/baby wise…
Because the only thing that feels better than being right, is being more right than someone else. Maybe deep down we need to convince others because we need to convince ourselves. But here’s the problem – you are wrong. About something, somewhere along the way you will be wrong. It’s inevitable. If you think you are infallible you are WRONG about that.
So don’t be obnoxious. You can’t afford it; none of us can. Be passionate about the things you belive in, but present your case in a gentle and respectful way. Let people follow their own conscience. That’s in the bible too (1 Corinthians 10:23-33).
So here’s me, trying to keep my soap box socially appropriate.