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No Better Time to Show Others They Matter

No Better Time to Show Others They Matter

Posted by Kenny Vaughan on 17th May 2020

Excerpts from “The Right Fight: How to Live a Loving Life” by John Kennedy Vaughan

“I remember that when I was in elementary school, junior high school, and the first years of high school, I had a lot of friends—until all the kids in my age group grew taller and I didn’t. That’s when I went from my classmates scrambling to save me a chair at lunch tables to spending my lunch breaks eating by myself.

“For two years, no one wanted to sit with me because I was shorter than my classmates, and it didn’t do anyone’s reputation any good to be sitting with me. During those years, I learned things I had never considered before.

“People I had inadvertently ignored before now became my friends. I learned firsthand what it was like to be overlooked. I also learned that everyone in school had fears. They just had different degrees of different fears. The funny thing was that most of us thought we were the only ones who were afraid.

“By the time I was a senior in high school, I had gained some height and attention as an aspiring water ski jumper and had been welcomed back to the lunch tables I had once sat at. But those tables didn’t interest me anymore. It wasn’t that I didn’t like my former friends anymore but that I had developed a new perspective that helped me see more than just myself and what made me feel comfortable or uncomfortable.

“One day, I was talking about all this to [my kids] Faith, Grace, Kennedy, and their friend, Kacie, from across the street. As we sat on our front porch, I was trying to help them understand the importance of valuing others.

“About that time, an ambulance came streaking down the street. It passed right in front of our house and turned into a driveway about three houses down. That driveway led to a little blue house that was hidden by a few trees and sat a few hundred feet off the road. The kids claimed they had never seen the little blue house. I was kind of shocked since they all had lived in this neighborhood since birth.

“Then it hit me that this little blue house posed the perfect example to help them see how important it is to be aware of others. I explained to them that the house had been there for years, and I started asking what became a series of questions, beginning with this one: ‘How do you think it makes the little blue house feel knowing you pass by it every day and never noticed it? How would you feel if you were the little blue house?’

“I explained to them that, in life, we all are like the little blue house sometimes. We all feel little and left out at times—maybe in big ways or maybe in small ways, but no one ever gets through this life without at some point feeling left out or left behind or forgotten. Sometimes it’s at school, sometimes at work, sometimes in a new neighborhood or town, sometimes even in our own homes, but the feeling that others don’t care or don’t value us will most certainly come.

“What matters most in these times is not how we are feeling but what we believe. Do we also believe we are worthless? Or do we know better and believe the truth that none of us are worthless? If we value the little houses in our lives, then we will value ourselves when we live in them, and we will value the truth.”

“If we don’t value the truth, then we will value ourselves less than we valued the little blue houses that never truly lacked any value at all.

…“I explained how I pray every day that my children will always understand their own value, no matter what life brings their way. I told them that if we don’t each go a little out of our way to value the people living in those little blue houses around us, one day we may not value ourselves, because one day we will be living in one of those little blue houses—all of us have days and seasons where we are overlooked.

“You see, the truth can be found anywhere, at any time, with anyone, of any color, size, shape, or race—and a courageous person is always ready to hear it from anyone at any time. It doesn’t matter if someone is the president of the United States or the guy stumbling through a parking lot with all his belongings in a plastic sack.

“If we don’t value all people, then we are holding up a measuring stick or a standard that becomes, for us, the hurdle to a person’s value. If a person clears this hurdle, then we give that person value; and if that person can’t clear this hurdle, then we don’t give that individual any value. Whatever hurdle we establish for others to clear forms a base we set as the standard for which we value our own lives.

“But for us to value ourselves, then, we must clear a hurdle even higher. You see, fear will lead us to set a standard to value others, and then we will judge ourselves even tougher than that standard we set for others. We all find ourselves falling short from time to time. It’s critically important that we know and value the truth that every person has equal value regardless of their current circumstances.

“Performance and finances and social status don’t determine anyone’s worth. The truth holds the same value in the White House as it does in the little blue house. If we value the little blue house, then when the day comes when we live in that little blue house, we will still value ourselves.”

This pandemic gives us the perfect opportunity to see value in ourselves and others, based on truth, not false standards. This pandemic gives us the perfect opportunity to show others they matter.

Laus Deo,