Scared to Act
Posted on September 10th, 2013 at 7:56PM
Our focus in this campaign is on little acts because we think that is within everyone’s capabilities and we want to provide a space to explore and reflect on just how much impact that can have. This should hopefully then encourage us to do even more #littleacts so that the effect is even further extended. It could start a revolution of more kind and loving acts in the world. Except …
Sometimes we don’t act because we are wary of the reaction we will receive.
I want to illustrate this first with how my husband responded when I shared with him the potential impact of little acts of kindness. He has experienced ‘little acts rebuffed’ in our ultra-independent society. Our elderly neighbour is always doing things for us, but whenever we offer to do something for him, he declines. This is especially frustrating when it concerns something that we are better equipped to do (eg. carrying something heavy for him).
Recently we were on a bus and my step-father offered his seat to a gentleman more elderly than him, resting on his stick. Again, declined. Sometimes the rebuff is quite harsh – particularly, my husband tells me, when a man tries to do something gentlemanly for a woman. When we came to live in England 4 years ago, it was completely natural for him to open a door for a woman but sadly that has been changed due to harsh reactions from women, fiercely independent and almost insulted by such a kind gesture.
I personally greatly appreciate people holding doors open for me, especially when I am carrying things from A to B. There is a lesson here – we need to learn to receive as well as give.
This is something our Acts 435 advocates have experienced. They will hear of a family or individual in need, in their congregation, or known to someone in their congregation. They gently approach the person and suggest the possibility of receiving some help through Acts 435. Swiftly rebuffed. Pride steps in.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded” (Luke 12:48). How can we give if our gift is rejected?