Every day most of us are surrounded with choices-what to wear, what to watch, what to eat; we give monies and goods to charities and causes and we feel a little better about ourselves. Nowadays, it is common at funerals for family members to ask that donations be made to causes in lieu of flowers or gifts-I like that.

But throughout the day, we meet with opportunities to choose how we act, and that shows who we really are. In the hectic rush of the moment, I find myself reacting rather than responding. I am not as practiced in responding as I need to be – someone cuts me off in traffic, I react, someone snaps into a parking spot I was waiting for, my hackles go up. My choices, throughout my day, hinge on reaction or response.

Those reactions or responses are a pretty good snapshot of who we are. How we act when we are cut off in traffic, or when someone cuts the line in front of us-don’t we all silently cheer when they send that person to the back of the line? When I take the time to think, I can make a better choice on my response, but often, I just react and the result is usually something I’d rather not represent. I am a work in progress for sure!

But there are plethoras of people who choose to complain, and quite loudly, about the state of the world. They stand on platforms of perceived wrongs of others, inciting others to their will, the will of the ‘cooperative’, forgetting that they are trampling on others. Ignoring their individual responsibility, they chose to shame and guilt others to do for them what they chose to not do for themselves. History has taught us the destructiveness of this mob mentality, yet still, they call into the darkness.

Perhaps if we were stronger in our small choices, like choosing to smile rather than frown. By choosing to bend rather than push back. By choosing to seek to understand rather than judge. By choosing to give, rather than take, we can choose to respond rather than to react. Maybe if we ask rather than accuse, listen rather than talk, we can hear the brokenness. Maybe then we can heal rather than harm.

By not choosing to respond, we react. By not choosing to understand, we judge. By not choosing hope, we despair. There is an old Rush song that goes, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Today, I choose kindness, lest I am indifferent. I hope to make a difference, today. As always, my hopes are for your hopes and dreams. T