As I headed into town this morning, a well-meaning driver about ruined my day. As he approached a four-way stop, he made the decision that this was BE KIND TO DRIVERS DAY, and so he just sat there. He let all other cars go first! Of course, that didn’t work. The result was not a "kind" thing at all. It gummed up the works! People stopping, starting, pointing, gesturing. The four-way stop can be a well-oiled machine, but it involves heads-up participation by every driver. Each has a responsibility.
On Facebook one day some contributor allowed that a very Christian thing to do, that day, would be to let the other guy go first at a four-way stop. No! No! No! That has the opposite effect. Very un-Christian words get uttered in cars approaching that intersection!
I see that as quite symbolic of all of life.
You can’t go to your church and just sit there, letting all the others go first to sing in the choir, serve on the council, volunteer to be an usher, teach Sunday School or work in the food pantry.
You can’t join the Rotary Club hoping that the membership will make you look good, then just sit there, refusing to serve on committees, run for office, or volunteer for projects.
You can’t send your kids to the best school, but then refuse to serve on the PTA, run for school board, car-pool kids to the special events, or assist the coaches.
It doesn’t make much sense to complain about your government in the coffee shop or bar, but then refuse to run for office, or at least communicate with elected officials, or even get off your duff and go to the polls.
Fred Rogers, famous kid’s show TV host, said: “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say ‘It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
As a prisoner advocate, I’m not suggesting that you must help prisoners, and your job is to do it now. Although that would be nice.
I am saying that you’re doing the world no favor by staying put at the four-way stop, leaving others to the task of negotiating that intersection.
“We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility”