We can all choose kindness over bullying

| June 28, 2013 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Capt.) Sang Pak
45th Sustainment Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

Growing up as the only Asian kid in my hometown of Hamilton, N.J., I was subjected to occasional ridicule.

Eventually, a kind teacher took notice and taught me the old adage that sticks and stones could break my bones but that names would never hurt me.

It never worked. The truth is, words can and do hurt.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that being bullied can have long and lasting emotional effects. We’ve seen this evident in recent news articles.

Sometimes, we are so affected by such circumstances that we allow that pain to control who we are and become the very same type of person that caused us pain in the first place.

I always chose not to.

Life isn’t easy. Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong at any given moment — and usually at the worst possible time!

It’s often easy to take out our frustration on others, especially to those we are supposed to lead by example. But the Scriptures remind us to be careful about “foul and abusive language” and that, instead, we should say things that are good and helpful so that our words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

If you open the Christian Bible to Ephesians 4:29-32, you will find these words:

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

When our subordinates fail us, do we tend to mention only their failures without giving them proper instruction? When our leaders fail us, do we, out of bitterness, reflect their attitude on others?

Let’s do something radical and follow the words of the Bible. Let’s be kind to each other, regardless of the situation or how we were treated.

After all, the people we affect every day aren’t just our subordinates … they’re someone’s son, daughter, father and mother.

(Editor’s note: Pak is the Special Troops Battalion chaplain at 45th Sust. Bde.)

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, Standing Columns

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