The Things That Are Easy


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By Stephen Lair

things that are easy.jpgI was recently speaking with one of my neighbors who assists an elderly man each week through a ministry at her church and is having a difficult time getting him to engage in activities of any kind. She has tried to get him to participate in various groups and activities but to no avail. He lives a solitary life with little to no interaction with anyone, save the once a week visits from the nice church lady. That is who he is and that is likely who he will remain.

My neighbor remarked how grateful she was to know him on several levels. She is obviously grateful for his friendship but she is additionally grateful for the lesson that his isolation has taught her. Perspective is a powerful thing and seeing the manifestation of his choices has helped inform hers.

Getting involved in the world around you is not a difficult task. There are a thousand things from small to huge which beg for each of us to play a part. At this neighbor's church, a group of seniors gets together every Saturday afternoon to put together the bulletins for Sunday; not an incredibly difficult task, but one which provides both purpose and community. 

Jim Rohn, one of the world's most renowned personal development coaches, famously quipped, "The things that are easy to do are also easy not to do."

Stuffing church bulletins is easy. Answering phones twice a week for a few hours at the local senior center is easy. Helping to keep a local food bank organized is easy. Visiting church shut-ins is easy. All of these things are easy. Unfortunately, all of these things are also easy NOT to do.

This elderly gentleman is reaping the harvest that he has sown by his own inaction. It would have been easy to stuff bulletins with the group from church. It would have created community and purpose for him in his later years. But it was also easy NOT to stuff bulletins with the group from church. Now, he faces solitary days. The ordeal of trying to join a new group or begin to participate in a new activity is far more daunting now than it had previously been. 

I am grateful for the good examples in my life. My grandfather did not neglect to do what was easy. He visited seniors in the hospital, was active in his church community, and delivered meals to shut-ins. None of these things were inherently difficult. They were easy things to do and he did not neglect to do them. I am equally grateful for the seniors I encounter who have neglected to do the easy things. While sometimes sad to observe, their lives offer a cautionary glimpse at the repercussions of inaction.

Wisdom of the day:

Do not neglect to do what is easy.

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