Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ignorance or Indifference?

As I was browsing around at a local shopping mall today, I came across something disturbing. I was in the mens department (I think at Macy's), where there was a father and son, who was about 4 or 5 years old. When I happened to look, the little boy had a belt wrapped around his neck. That shocked me! I wanted to say something, perhaps something cute like, "Are you a dog?" But that still didn't sound right to me. The father was right there and didn't say anything! What was he thinking? Or simply not thinking!? Was he that ignorant or was he totally indifferent to his little boy with a belt tied around his neck!

With the fatal shootings in Aurora, Colorado very fresh and recent, I was wondering what kind of parenting or guidance was given to the shooting suspect? If someone attuned to his life saw the warning signs, what would and should have they said or done? Or if the warning signs were evidently there and nobody ever cared to do anything about it?

As I'm writing this blog, Willie Hantz (yes, brother to Survivor's Russell Hantz) was expelled from the Big Brother show because he charged and head-butted a fellow house guest. Allison Grodner, Executive Producer of Big Brother just made that announcement to the rest of the house guests Willie was expelled from the game because they do not tolerate violence in the house. With all the cameras in the house, it was impossible to ignore and the consequences were immediate. So this example actually shows knowledge of the behavior and they actually did something about it.

Googling the terms "Ignorance and Indifference",  there are many references to the adage, "I don't know and I don't care". As a man of faith, I would want to know as much as I could in order to grow as a person. And I would want to care to exemplify my passion for mankind. On the other hand, as a man of faith, some would think, "God will take care of it". So, how should we act as people of faith regarding ignorance and indifference?

"Ignorance is bliss" is the thought that if you didn't know any better, it doesn't matter you didn't do anything about it. That's like my roommate with his kitchen lack-of-caring, I think. I know I don't tell him the split sink is divided as a dirty side and a clean side. To me, it's a given. But then, I grew up with a split sink. The garbage disposal side is the dirty side, where all the food and dirty dishes go. The other side only has a drain (and my OXO sink strainer, constantly finding bits of food) and is where dishes and utensils are to be rinsed. But is he really that ignorant about a "clean" sink? I know he's not very observant and simply lazy. He often blames drugs he took when he was in high school. But is that just an excuse or a crutch?

Perhaps I was indifferent when it came to the little boy with the belt wrapped around his neck. But is it my place to correct someone else's kid? Especially when the father was right there? I didn't want to come off as judgmental or pushy. I just pray to God that this kid doesn't have suicidal or violent tendencies.

I know this blog is entitled "Vertical Relationship" and this post is more about the horizontal relationships among others. It is good to have mentor - protege relationships. That is how we learn and grow in our walk as disciples of Christ. When there is knowledge, it is good to learn from those lessons, otherwise we will keep on making the same mistakes. Hopefully we would learn from life lessons.

And hopefully we would have the empathy to care. That is the hallmark of a passionate person. That is why I may not have said anything to the little kid in the store, but it spurred me to write this down to implore others not to be ignorant or indifferent. If we cared more, perhaps there would be less tragedies and more love in this world.

And this is what I'm passionate about: do you have a relationship with God? Do you have that Vertical Relationship only God can fulfill? Do you even have horizontal relationships that are God-honoring, loving, caring and passionate? We could only hope so. I pray that everyone comes to a saving Knowledge of God. Not only that, but you would care enough to build that kind of relationship with a living God.

Holy God, please forgive me because I am a sinner. I have turned away from You. I have knowledge, yet don't live what I know. I don't do what I should do. Lord Jesus, please come into my life and guide me, love me and show me what to do. And first, that is to love, honor and glorify You in my life. Please Lord, cleanse my impure heart and give me the passion of Your heart. Amen.

If you just prayed that prayer, welcome to God's family. I pray you will not ever be ignorant of anything or indifferent to God's calling.