The trademark of the age of technology: texting. You can do it while doing almost anything else. But the question is, should you? Fr. Bob Pagliari joined Glen Lewerenz on Morning Air to talk about being more courteous this year, especially when it comes to giving others our time, attention, or effort.
Fr. Bob, who is based in New York, one of the busiest cities in the country, said that he never makes it a block without passing at least one person texting as they walk. Occasionally, he noticed, they will glance up to avoid walking face-first into traffic or a stoplight, but their attention is on their phone. But walking or driving distracted is merely a symptom of the illness that’s gripping society: selfishness.
By this point in the year, many people have already failed their New Year’s resolutions, so Fr. Bob offered us a solution to the problem. Instead of focusing on an impossible goal that will fall by the wayside at the first sign of difficulty, pick something simpler. In other words, why not work on something like being more considerate this year?
It’s simple, easy to pick back up again if we slip, and it focuses our energy outwards in order to help others rather than ourselves. That philosophy is at the heart of Christianity, precisely because that’s the example that was provided to us by Christ. Not only did He do everything for the benefit of those around Him, but He went so far as to suffer torture and horrific death for our sake.
In our own lives, we can imitate His passion by carrying our crosses with cheerfulness and humility. And needless to say, our crosses are nothing compared to the weight of sin that Christ bore on His back during the Carrying of the Cross and Crucifixion. And yet, what little we can do in the way of consideration for others goes a very long way. Not only does our selflessness build character and discipline, but it brings joy to our neighbors, makes their lives easier, and we receive an outpouring of graces from God. Everybody wins when we are considerate.
Fr. Bob pointed out that for a while during the COVID era, we were in a sort of hibernation period. There was very little, limited human contact between people and we grew deficient in our practice of selflessness. We can use this new year as an opportunity to shed the COVID blanket and become more proficient in caring for the needs and desires of others.
“Now as we’re coming back, it’s time to remember, we’re not alone anymore! We have to be a little more considerate. We’re not doing our jobs via Skype or the computer. We’re actually interacting with other people.”
As we journey through the duration of the Christmas season and look ahead to the Lenten season, let us consider some easy ways in which we might be better servants of our neighbors and, in turn, better servants of God. Around the house, remember to say, “Please,” and, “Thank You.” Seize every opportunity to hold the door for other people, especially if they need assistance. Help out in the kitchen, either with the cooking or the cleaning. Do your part to keep the common rooms and bedrooms clean of any messes. Put everything back in its place when you’re finished with it. And when you do it all, thank God for the opportunity.
Tune in to Morning Air weekdays at 5am CT