His pleasant, respectful manner grabbed my attention the first time he took my wife’s and my order in a local fast-food joint, three or four years ago. Sean’s not the store manager, and contrary to my impression, neither is he the business owner’s son. He’s a teenager, who happens to stand out; it’s the way he is.
In an age in which, at times, it seems that common courtesy is in short supply, we wonder what kind of pathetic characters are going to be running the world, and then a teenager like Sean comes our way. Our eyebrows shoot up a couple of notches and our hopes for the coming generation and future of the world revive.
He has worked at this outlet for some years now. One of his peers, a fellow workmate, speaking privately to me, remarked, “Sean’s awesome!” How’s that for one youth’s endorsement of another. Yep, Sean’s a gaze-raiser!
I don’t know much about him—although I’m curious. I haven’t had opportunity, in the rush of his employment place, to chat at length. However, over time my observations led me to suspect that his parents taught him well and impressed on him principles for living—principles, such as the following:
~Demonstrate self-respect by respecting others.
~ Rights must be balanced by responsibilities.
~Expect it of yourself to be a giver, rather than a taker, for the world doesn’t owe you a good life.
~Demonstrate an honest and diligent work ethic, for trustworthiness will open doors to you.
~Exhibit a pleasant disposition and positive attitude towards others, and most people will respond accordingly.
~Develop self-discipline and self-restraint, and you will live well and experience true liberty.
I don’t know whether Sean is a Christ-follower or was raised in a faith tradition of any kind, yet he reminds me of these Scripture verses:
“My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the correction of discipline are the ways of life . . .” (Proverbs 6:20-23a).
I thank God for the ‘Seans’ of the world. Let us pray for the young folk in our lives and seek to demonstrate and impress on them life-affirming principles that will become their chosen way of life. May this lead to the raising of many a gaze and result in elevated vision, and also inspire hope-filled horizons in many lives.
Hmm, it might even play a role in leading them into their eternal destiny in the love and grace of God.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
~~~Now out: Raise Your Gaze – Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart collection of 52 articles from P-Pep! column, sprinkled with Words to Bless. Inspirational; some biographical. 190 pp. ISBN: 978-0-9920074-2-3 Available from Angel Hope Publishing: Angelhopepublishing@glynisbelec.com ; www.glynisbelec.com Amazon.com ; Amazon.ca Coming soon: ebook version
Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children’s / family book (mildly educational, inspirational in orientation, character reinforcing. 39 stories, 232 pp, b/w illustrations. Finalist – Word Alive Press. ISBN: 1897373-21-X. List price $15.99. Available through bookstores, the author and at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca
The book has found a place in various settings with a readership ranging from kids to senior adults. His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Guide-Advocate (of Southwestern Ontario). His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario. ~~+~~