A few years ago – I attended court with a friend to be a support for her. At issue was the 50B – also known as a restraining order. For those of you, like me, who have never done anything like this, you basically sit in the courtroom with everyone else who is having a 50B hearing and wait for the judge to call you up to discuss your case. One by one people were called to appear before the judge and tell their stories. After listening for about an hour it hit me that I had had wonderful training to be a judge!
I am the mom of 3 boys who were all born within 3.5 years. The majority of their growing up years I spent at least a portion of each day hearing their complaints with each other and doling out decisions and punishments. I remember more often than not, there was blame on both sides – much like I saw in the courtroom.
I would look each boy in the eyes and ask them, “Are you being as kind as you can possibly be?” Each one would inevitably answer No. I would look each boy in the eye again and my reply would always be, “If YOU are as kind as you can possibly be and YOU are as kind as you can possibly be there will be no more problems, right?” Off I would send them to play and life would go on. J
Oh how much more pleasant life would be if we could all learn that lesson. I watched one lady in the courtroom use very poor judgment. When the judge called for a recess the lady decided to talk very ugly across the room to the gentleman that had the restraining order against her. This was a violation of the restraining order. Oh how foolish! The other people in the gallery overheard the interaction and were asked to testify to what they had seen. The judge held the lady in contempt of court and sentenced her to 30 days in jail. She was handcuffed right there in front of everyone and escorted to jail. What if she had been as kind as she could possibly be? She would not be sitting in jail for 30 days!
In our 252 Basics curriculum in our Elementary program at Daystar we stress every week as one of our points – Make the Wise Choice, Trust God No Matter What and Treat Others the Way You Want to be Treated. If all of those folks I saw yesterday in that courtroom had followed those three points we would have empty courtrooms. What I saw was an incredible waste of time and an embarrassment for all those who call themselves adults.
So, take a lesson from my three boys – always be as kind as you can possibly be. J