"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.
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