One of the latest trends in our high-tech society is to use fewer words. There’s anecdotal evidence that people on mobile devices read the first 300 words of an article, then lose interest. Some have taken that as a directive to write shorter. Anything worth discussing should be confined to 300 words or less.
Perhaps it’s not surprising. We live in a culture addicted to short exchanges. Capture a complicated moment in 140 characters or fewer. No deep or nuanced discussion permitted. But there is at least one positive to the trend: It forces us to concentrate and really think about what we have to say.
Suppose you had to sum up the values that guide your life (and we all have them) in no more than 300 words. What would you say?
Here’s my first draft:
We’re God’s family. And we need to act like it.
Each of us is a beloved child, accepted just as we are. Loved more than we could possibly comprehend. And nobody is loved any more or any less than anyone else. My grandmother would say: Don’t be all high-and-mighty. Never think that anyone is any more important or less important than anyone else.
Never forget that we’re responsible for each other. We’re family. It’s our job to take care of one another. If someone needs something, be there for them and help them in whatever way you can. Again, don’t be all high-and-mighty and decide they’re not worth the trouble. And don’t let yourself off easy by saying you don’t know how to help. You have a brain — use it.
And share. Sharing is very important. Did you ever sit around the dinner table and see a child fill their plate with their favorite food? Didn’t mom or dad tell them to put some back because the food doesn’t belong to them, it’s for everyone? Make sure everyone has something on their plate.
And stop fighting. Stop creating conflict in the family. The other person isn’t your enemy, they’re your brother and your sister. So stop it! Keep your hands to yourself. Be good to one another. Find a way to get along. Love one another, as you are loved. Forgive each other. Be compassionate in how you think about others.
Don’t ever convince yourself that you’re more favored by your Parent than anyone else in the family. You might be tempted to think that way, and you’d be wrong.
And never, ever forget that you are loved far more than you can ever imagine. So is everyone else in this family. Love them accordingly.
That’s 299 words, which leaves the last word up to you. If you could summarize the values that you have chosen to guide your life, what would you say?