Do Your Bit

They say that charity begins at home. I agree. I’m not talking about the “giving money to the poor” or “helping those less fortunate” kind of charity (though it is important). The charity I’m talking about is the virtue, the character. Charity is defined as a love of humankind; a kindness and tolerance in judging others In this context, try not to see judging others as a negative thing, rather see it as the simple task of coming to conclusion about someone.

The reason why I’m writing about this is because I feel like charity is that present in the world. I can’t say compared to before because I don’t know but the hurt that people are causing each other these days is strong evidence for lack of its presence. This is apparent in friendships; work relationships and even on larger scales such as between cultures and social statuses.

I talk about personal reflection a lot, I know, but only because 1) It’s important and 2) I can personally say that it is beneficial. I believe I have grown so much since I started reflecting regularly and I have a right to say that because in my reflections I have observed my growth and I intend to keep growing! Reflection shouldn’t be a tool to criticise yourself or obsess over things you have done wrong but it should be used as a tool to better yourself (there is always room for improvement). Maybe in a future post I’ll go into detail but for the purpose of this post these are the questions I’d like you to ask yourself are: How was your interaction with X? Were you your honest self with them? Did you allow them to be themselves? Or did your interaction with them change after they failed to meet the expectations you set for them without considering who they were? Did you see them for who they were rather than the person you wanted them to be?

Charity can be more than just an altruistic action but if we perfect the art of manifesting selflessness more (myself included) then there’d be a lot less unintentional and intentional hurt in the world. Positive behaviour is rarely promoted within society today, we praise people for being petty and videos of poor behaviour can go viral in just days. However, when it comes to treating people with respect; acknowledging personal differences and the importance of getting to know people is hardly ever touched on and when it is it’s lost in a sea of drama…

And then we wonder why the world is the way it is?

It’s not possible to get on with everyone, unfortunately, the beauty of character and personality comes with a downside but I’m telling you a little bit of charity goes a long way… Consider this in the next interaction that you have with someone. Do your bit to change the world.

Evan Kirby

An Open Diary

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. I knew my family would be driving to Bristol to enjoy a day with some young people who’ve been camping nearby. My intention was to join them but unfortunately my bank account said “take a six hour coach journey or don’t go”. After barely recovering from last weeks six hour journey (I was in Gloucester) it was decided that I wouldn’t be going. I didn’t like the thought of having to spend the day away from those that I love and care about. This meant that I would be going to church here in the town that I live in. Good services, lovely people. Not a problem, right?  Wrong. I had anxiety, I haven’t been for a few weeks and it felt like I was going there for the first time. I was worried about fitting in, feeling comfortable, being around people who don’t know me, not knowing if I could relax around the brethren. Irrational, I know, but that’s how I felt. Then there was where I woke up, have you ever lived somewhere where you aren’t welcome? Well, I currently do (yeah, the new flat wasn’t all it was cracked up to be). So as you can see when I opened my eyes this morning I was feeling a bit despondent.

Alongside this launch of this blog, I decided to tackle life with a different approach. I have adopted an attitude of hopefulness, faith and positivity, I’ve literally begun to try and see the bright side of everything. If you ask those close to me they’ll say that they’ve heard me say something along the lines of “works rubbish, home life is rubbish but it what it is, I’m happy, and I won’t be here forever” and it works. The funks that come don’t last too long when I tell myself these things (although it’s still hard to get out of bed in the morning) but today I couldn’t even tell myself these things. I just felt bad.

I managed to drag myself out of bed and breathed a sigh of relief when I realised my landlady was still asleep (sad, I know). I got ready and left out. It was a good day, all my irrational fears were dispelled. The songs were good, the people were lovely and the sermon was necessary but I still felt bad… I stood outside in the car park talking to my friend, I thought about the fact that I would have to go home soon and burst into tears. My friend offered to walk me home and I accepted the offer. We walked and we talked and we came to some conclusions:

  • It’s just life – Yes, it’s cliche and doesn’t offer much consolation but it’s true. These are just the things we have to deal with
  • It won’t be like this forever – I’ve already got plans in place that should change the situation I’m in I just have to be patient and positive.
  • My win is coming – I often wonder why I seem to struggle so much, I’m not sure this is even for me to understand but I know what I will reach my ultimate life goal which, believe it or not, is to be happy ☻

Well, that’s me for now, I need to take a nap.

Some Thoughts On Friendship

I’ve often said that I don’t need any new friends. The ones that I have are good people with whom I get on with well and I can trust them. However, as someone who is trying to redevelop their Christian faith in a new town where I do not know many people I recognised the need for friendship and fellowship. So whilst I did not go out seeking one I was no longer opposed to making them. Upon reflecting on friendships that have developed in the few years gone by I have noticed some things regarding successful friendships.

People are all different. We were all raised differently; we’ve all had different life experiences and we all have different personalities. Because of this, the interactions that we have with our new friends will be different to those that have been had within relationships already developed. As a result of this when getting into relationships with people a level of tolerance needs to be had (As I’ve said before: we are all human). Your new friend may be slower than others: exercise patience. Your new friend may be quieter than you: exercise understanding. Whilst considering what you can do when someone’s personality may have an effect on your “feelings “, think about the role that you play in the relationship and the maintenance of it. How do you speak to your friends? Do you make inappropriate statements or jokes at their expense, publicly, all in the name of banter? Or do you only speak to them when you want something or need something from them? Remember that your friends are human and they have feelings.

…equally important: to love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 22.39b

Another thing, take the time to get to know people. Developing a relationship can take a lifetime, just ask a couple who’s been married for over 20 years. That being said, regardless of how close you may feel to them always remember that you are still learning. People change and people grow; there are many factors that can influence a person’s character, try to remember that they’re not you and they’re not anyone else that you know or have ever met.

Also, I believe that dishonesty in friendship is one of the reasons why discourse in friendship occurs. As someone who would NEVER intentionally hurt my friends that following is based on that premise. Sometimes, as humans, we cause unintentional hurt, this is more common when you’re still learning a lot about a person. If you are hurt by someone that chances are they don’t even know that they’ve done it. The worst thing you can do is keep it to yourself. If you care about your friend let them know… if they’re anything like me the fact that they hurt you will hurt them.

But if your brother wrongs you, confront them between you and him alone; if he hears you, you have gained your brother. Matthew 18.15

If you are hurt by someone and have been unable to resolve it I am 100% certain that your attitude towards them will change. Your subconscious will pick up on this and this attitude change will have a negative influence in terms of how you treat them. They may or may not notice the behaviour but they will be completely oblivious to the reason why.

 …Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12.15b

Eventually, you will hurt them and when they bring it to your attention your remorse will not be felt because the chances are that you’ll say something along the lines of “I’m sorry but you did xyz, 1234 weeks ago”. Effectively disregarding the current situation… Try addressing situations as they happen to the avoid the risk of having childish conversations, disregarding the feelings of others and causing more damage to a relationship.

Finally, forgive. It’s all well and good having that ‘grown-up’ conversation but if forgiveness doesn’t occur then that subconscious attitude is not going anywhere and the negativity will consume you as they remain unaffected in the matter.

These are just a few things that I’ve picked up on in relation to friendship. What can you think of that will improve the quality of your friendships? Let me know in the comments!