If you’re anything like most of us, you have probably heard the saying, “Hurting people hurt others.” If that is in fact the case much of the time (and I’ll go out on a limb here to suggest that it is) then isn’t it also possible that loving folks facilitate love in others? O.K., stay with me here, so if that’s also true, then is it too much of a stretch to suggest that we look for opportunities to be that loving individual in the workplace as opposed to those who consciously or unconsciously hurt others as we go about the business of working and/or living?
“Why”, you might ask, “Should I care about what impact I have on others?” Well, contemplate this thought if you will; your love may be the only kindness that individual experiences that day, week, month, etc. Can you imagine, can you contemplate the power in the choice to show someone love as opposed to judgment or disregard? Wow, what a gift we each have in that we can choose to actively make a positive impact in another’s life at anytime.
I recall watching Schindler’s List several years ago. One scene in particular has remained with me as an example of the power of love to overcome the pain caused by broken people. In the middle of the movie, there is a scene where the German leader of a concentration camp is randomly shooting Jewish prisoners as they walk through the camp. The German leader has been engaging in this horrific act for some time. However, on this particular day, there is a young woman with him who says something to the effect of, “What power you have, you can choose to give someone life when it is within your power to kill.” Interestingly, the German leader proceeds to choose to refrain from shooting the individual his rifle sight had been set on just moments earlier.
So here is the difficult question for us this week. Who do we have the power to hurt this week and will we instead choose to show love when our moment of action arrives? Now I know that it is not always easy to hold back when we “feel” justified to show something other than love to another. However, just as in that scene in Schindler’s List, real power comes from controlling ourselves and sometimes that means holding back our hurt and instead putting forth love. Is there someone in one of your workplaces (i.e., corporate, place of worship, household, or community) that needs your love (as opposed to what they may be deserving of)? Perhaps it’s even you. Perhaps the ability to love others starts with knowing we are lovable and in that understanding perhaps we can keep from being that hurting person in other peoples’ lives.