A few days ago, Sydney walked up to me and asked me a question about Barack Obama and this is how the conversation went:
Sydney: Mom, do you know what Barack Obama's middle name is?
Me: No, what is it? (Of course I know what it is, but I want to see where this is going)
Sydney (with major emphasis): It's HUSSEIN!!!
Me (all surprised like): Really?
Sydney (with even more emphasis with a side order of sarcasm): SCARY!!!
I totally cracked up laughing. Sydney knows our religious beliefs and how we know that God's rulership and government is the only thing that can bring true peace to this earth. She knows we are neutral on all earthly politics. But then she says to me: "Does everyone know this?..You know...the people that voted him in?"
Again, cracking up laughing. I told her yes, most people that voted for him know that his middle name is Hussein. It's obvious that she relates Hussein to someone scary.
This conversation made me think of a recent talk we had at our Sunday meeting. The brother gave examples of people and what we think of them when we hear their name. For example...Hitler, Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein. Of course, most of these people make us cringe at the thought of them.
He then told us to ask ourselves..What do people think of us when they hear our name.
I have to be honest...there are certain people that when I hear their name I cringe. But there are other people that when I hear their name, I get a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach for them. And then I wondered what people do when they hear my name...do they cringe or do they get the warm fuzzy feeling. I asked Scott what he thought and he made a good point. We try our best to make sure that people view us as god fearing caring and kind individuals but because of our circumstances in our life and how other people are either raised or their circumstances in their life, we can not please everyone.
This brings me back to my conversation with Sydney. I told Sydney not to judge Barack Obama by his middle name and that was just a name given to him by his parents. I personally don't want my daughter judging anyone anyways, but I told her to view someone by their actions, their speech and the dealings in their life. Barack may be a kind person and have a great family life but does he love Jehovah? Is he doing what's right in God's eyes?
That's how we should view someone. How is their family life? How do they treat people? How do they treat their family, their spouse, their children? Are they kind? Do they find the good in everyone? The people that make me cringe are the people that breed on the drama, the hatred, the constant turmoil. I told Sydney to try and not judge these ones, but to focus on what's important...her name. The name she makes for herself while on earth and how Jehovah feels about her and the name she's made.
I can't make people be kind but I'm just going to try and work on my attitude toward these ones. My conversation with Sydney made me realize that it's not our physical name that was given to us by our parents that defines us, rather, it's our actions and how we treat others that make our name. I hope she got something out of this. Raising children is hard...probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I just hope what I say and do can be a positive influence on my kids. I know what I am doing now is shaping them for their eternal future...(but no pressure!...HA!)