"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
I've been mulling over this quote for weeks after Cecily shared it with me.
In a world that values upward mobility, I wonder how often we take the time to honor those who do not directly boost our place in society. I think of this as I use the pristine bathrooms on campus at Pepperdine or sit on the manicured lawn of Alumni Field. Or as I endure the bit of grumpiness from the grocery bagger at Ralphs who is tired from the 2 hour one way bus ride from LA for the minimum wage job in a place that they'll never be able to live. I'm reminded of this as I overhear the person in front of me in line at Starbucks complain under their breath that the barista didn't leave enough room in their coffee to add milk.
I wonder if we treat those who play these seemingly inconsequential roles with as much dignity and respect that we give those who have the ability to give us a pay raise or a promotion.
I'm also reminded of this as I watch random acts of kindness within my community. The random person holding the arm of an elderly man as he walks up the steps. The smile I see passed from a person in a BMW to the homeless man on the street. The teens in my youth group who serve at camps for kids with special needs. Families that host people in their homes who are struggling to get their footing in life. The concern paid to issues of justice locally and internationally by people I have the honor of calling my friends.
I hope that their influence will cause me to care more for those who can do me "absolutely no good."
Dusty Breeding is the student minister at the University Church of Christ.
First: don't forget your tiger den.
Last Sunday, Steve Rouse (UCC member, Pepperdine psychology professor, and first-time preacher) shared his thoughts on Psalm 131.
Kurt Vonnegut's short poem from the book, Cat's Cradle, starts like this:
“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
It's not just easy for human beings to ask the tough questions, it's actually part of our nature! But the rest of the poem goes on to tell us:
"Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Just like the tiger has to go home to his den sometimes, we as humans have to tell ourselves we understand.
Always remember, though, that belief is not the absence of doubt. Belief is a choice; an act of volition. You can have doubts and still believe. They aren't mutually exclusive opposites. In fact, you could even say, "I doubt and yet I believe."
So just as the tiger goes home to his den, Steve Rouse shared with us his "tiger den" of beliefs. Here they are:
1. God exists.
So as you unpack your clothes for a new year, we hope you brought your tiger den with you!
Second: get excited!
New Student Orientation is just around the corner! Even though the title might imply that it's a program designed for new students, there are still so many awesome things for returning students to enjoy too, such as Frosh Follies and nice long lines at the book store!
While you're getting pumped for NSO 2014, watch this throwback video. It's good to be a wave...
... and if you made it this far (congratulations), here's a bonus reminder to like us on facebook to get more updates, details on upcoming events and more YouTube breaks.
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