Tis the season to be run over, “Fa La La La!” Like everyone else, these days I am spending a fair amount of time in a variety of stores. Regardless of what they are shopping for, people are coming and going like demons on a mission. Heaven help the poor little old lady (like me) who happens to be in their way.
Case in point: yesterday a guy chatting on a cell phone took me out in the frozen food aisle. As I was checking out, the lady behind me insisted on loading the conveyer belt with her purchases even though I was not finished unloading my cart. As she sighed impatiently, I had to keep sliding that cute little barrier bar back down the belt. And then, leaving the grocery store I had to dodge the “merry” elves selling candy at the door. I believe there were some bruises involved.
So this season, where are all the gentlemen and gentlewomen? Where are the kind folks who help secure our society with gentle actions and humble spirits?
I found some. They are college students. Specifically, they are men in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Apparently a little girl who is fighting cancer is stuck in the hospital on the campus of UCLA. One night last week, she and her mom put a sign in the window asking for pizza.
The guys in the fraternity responded with lots more than just pizza. They had sports teams stop by, sent roses, and serenaded her and her mom. And since the little girl could see their house from her hospital room, they spelled out her name with lights up on the roof.
The article I read about these young men was entitled, “True Gentlemen.” That term comes from the ideals embedded in their creed. The first line reads “The true gentlemen is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety and who self-control is equal to all emergencies.”
I loved both the story and the boys’ creed. Especially right now, our world needs men and women who are committed to being gentle of spirit. We need to see folks who have an inborn sense of good will. We need to witness acts of kindness. We need to watch people exercise self-control.
Maybe this week, it ought to start with us!