Bob Tamasy: How We Can All Make A Difference

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

We’ve all heard about NFL players, coaches and even owners taking a knee rather than standing respectfully during the National Anthem. (Since I write my posts two weeks in advance, who knows what they’ll be doing by the time this appears.) I’m not quite certain what this demonstration is all about. Basically, it boils down to their conviction that in so doing, they’re making a difference.

On that last point, I think we can all agree. We’d all like to make a difference, being able to participate in making positive changes in our very – perhaps hopelessly – fractured nation and world. The question is, what does it take to truly make a difference?

Protests, peaceful and some not so peaceful, might make participants feel like they’ve accomplished something, but increasingly these events seem more like outlets for spouting venom toward anyone with different views.

They are accomplishing something – but is it positive? 

Then the protests are over; after all, people have to go home and go to work. They do have to go to work, don’t they? Or take care of their families? They do, don’t they? Anyway, the protests end, but the poor are still poor, the oppressed still oppressed, the disenfranchised remain the same. What’s the end game? What has been accomplished?

Thinking about this, my friend Bryan made a good suggestion: "DO SOMETHING that really makes a difference. Be nicer to people. Treat people with respect." This goes back to following what Jesus taught nearly 2,000 years ago – loving our neighbor as ourselves, and doing for others as we would want them to do for us. If we were in dire circumstances, desperately in need of help, how would we like to be treated?

The apostle James pointed out, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?... Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical need, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:14-17).

In my view, this is the problem with these protests. People get riled up, voice their complaints, and then go home, but lives of the individuals they supposedly are defending remain unchanged. Their “faith” – or at least moral conviction – stops short of engaging with and helping someone in real, tangible ways. If the time, energy and resources expended during these demonstrations were concentrated instead on doing the hard work of investing time, energy and resources in face-to-face acts of service, that would truly make a difference; a difference that can be life-changing.

Although some might disagree, no amount of posturing in any form will eradicate prejudice or insensitivity. We can't legislate hate. However, we can see lasting change take place – through changed hearts, starting with our own. Sadly, it seems evident there are forces in society that don't want that, whose agendas are advanced by inciting and sustaining anger, rage, dissension and hatred. We can stand by and let that happen, or resolve not fall in lockstep with anyone intent on stirring up humanity’s darkest elements.

When we watch the evening news, or read certain periodicals or postings on the Internet, it would appear hatred among various peoples has never been greater. But that’s not my experience or observation. I interact with people of different ethnicities and cultures often, whether at the YMCA, the mall, work, or spending time together at a restaurant. And I see others doing the same, with kindness, respect and mutual appreciation displayed openly and genuinely.

This isn’t to say there aren’t problems, because we all know there are. In some cities, more so than others. But we don’t have to be part of the problems – instead, we can choose to be part of the solutions. As one social media post wisely urged recently, “Turn off the news and love your neighbor.” Why listen to people harping about how bad things are when we can demonstrate how good things can be? That’s what Jesus would do.

----

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



Bob Tamasy: Reasons For Not Losing Heart

"Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" Is Sermon Topic At Middle Valley Church Of God On Sunday

St. Timothy's Church Presents Jazz Vespers Service On Jan. 27


Do you ever have a day, even for a fleeting moment, when you wake up and think, “I’m not getting out of bed today”? You’re tempted to pull the covers over your head and pretend, like an ostrich ... (click for more)

Middle Valley Church of God, at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" in the 10 a.m. service on Sunday. ... (click for more)

For the thirteenth year, a jazz vespers service will be held at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, this year on Sunday, January 27, 2019, at 5 p.m. Kathy Tugman and the David Walters Trio will perform, ... (click for more)


Church

Bob Tamasy: Reasons For Not Losing Heart

Do you ever have a day, even for a fleeting moment, when you wake up and think, “I’m not getting out of bed today”? You’re tempted to pull the covers over your head and pretend, like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, that if you can’t see the world, the world can’t see you. Maybe you made the mistake of watching the evening news before going to bed, absorbing the daily ... (click for more)

"Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" Is Sermon Topic At Middle Valley Church Of God On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God, at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Chaos Can Lead To Victory!" in the 10 a.m. service on Sunday. Pastor Mitch McClure will lead the congregation in a time of worship, and prayer on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School classes are available for all age groups. ... (click for more)

Breaking News

2nd Man Charged In October 2018 Murder Of Jacob Dakota Moore Of Apison

A second arrest has been made in the October 2018 murder of Jacob Dakota Moore of Apison. Authorities earlier charged Askia Witherow in the slaying. On Thursday, warrants were issued for James David Robinson, 42, charging him with one count of first-degree murder, one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, four counts of especially aggravated robbery, four counts ... (click for more)

Linda Damewood Killed, Another Critical, Third Injured In Shooting At Crossville

One person was killed, another critically injured and a third hurt in a shooting at Crossville on Saturday. Linda Damewood, 74, of Crossville, was dead at the scene. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Tansi Security, and Tennessee Highway Patrol units responded to 8610 Cherokee Trail at approximately 6:38 p.m. to a reported shooting. Cumberland County Sheriff’s ... (click for more)

Opinion

Senator Alexander: A Reasonable Proposal To End The Government Shutdown

A government shutdown is always the wrong idea. It is the wrong idea under President Trump, just as it was the wrong idea under President Obama. Members of Congress should first remember that when a president who has been duly elected by the people of the United States -- whatever you may think of him or her -- has a legitimate objective, it is our responsibility to do everything ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Swimming With Jim Morgan

I’ve never talked much about this – it is too close to bragging – but in my teenaged years I was a good swimmer. I loved being in the water and maybe the greatest compliment back in the day was when new UT swimming coach Ray Bussard offered me a ‘full ride’ with the Vols. Are you kidding me … by then I was into tobacco, alcohol, convertibles, and girls in angora sweaters - there ... (click for more)