Most communities struggle with individuals who don't want to toe the line that is set to make that community a great place to live in.
They sneer at the law and hurting others seems to earn a badge of honour. They blame others for their negative attitudes and relish the publicity they gain for themselves from their misdemeanours.
But could there be some truth in the following statement I only heard this week, namely, “Monsters are made by the people around them”.
By living a life that is full of put downs, all sorts of discrimination, broken relationships and lack of real love it is easy for chips on the shoulder to build up, and to declare that everyone is wrong and can go to hell. Leave me alone, and go and clean up your own backyard first.
Through the many efforts of outside agencies to address the situation, it is the community and families who really own the problem and need to prioritise what they are doing to fix it.
Perhaps it’s time for families and communities to prioritise again what it is they really want out of life. Do we truly embrace every individual in our goals? Do we put the basic needs of others before our own? Are love and forgiveness active in all our relationships?
As I see it, family and community is a circle of love and strength. With every birth and every union the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love, every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger. Outside this circle monsters breed. When the spirituality we all possess lies dormant, monsters roam looking for another hitching post to latch onto even if it destroys the life they were meant to have.
Let us also prioritise what we are doing with the children in our lives. A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.
Jesus’ attitude simply was, “Suffer the little monsters to come unto me and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of God”. May God bring newness, hope, acceptance and love to all wandering monsters.
Ceduna Lutheran Parish