The amazing grace N giving

Everyday, many things around triggers me to hope for an ideal world, and wonder why it seems impossible to achieve it. Then one day, as I was sitting on my study desk doing my own stuff and half procrastinating on this issue, an incident sometime back in my college years emerged providing light in understanding why people (including myself) generally fail to be what they want to be.

It was after the lunch break as I stood outside of the 4 story classroom, letting time pass till class commence. Overlooking the other side was a primary (junior) school and there were some kids playing badminton at the playground though there were neither a net nor proper court lines. In the midst of the game, one boy swung his racquet too hard and the racket flew high and got stuck in between the branches of a tree. Racquets are expensive, and considering the prospect of getting a fat scolding from your parents for losing it is just a nightmare. Well, one of the boy saw the despair look on the friend’s face and tried to help. He took off one side of his shoes and start throwing it in the direction of the branch, hoping that it would rattle and let the racquet go from its grip. Others used small stones, and broken branches to try to get to the racquet. Finally like David’s tale, the smooth stone hit the racquet, and it moved and fell to the ground. The boy who offered what mattered to him with all the good intention threw one last time, unaware that the stone had already got to the racquet. It was his turn to have his shoes caught between the branches. The bell rang, and everyone rush back to class, leaving him alone to face the situation. Even the boy whom he intended to help fetch the racquet left. He tried to get his shoes back, but it was too late. Class was about to start. Disappointed, he limped back with his one sided shoe.

Many of us are like that little boy. I believe that everyone borned are generous, kind and love one another like God commanded. We gave what is important to us to help others like the boy who offered his shoes. We sympathize and stood forth to bring the change in issues that burns in our hearts. We fought for good. But, somewhere along the way, we came to learn that the world ain’t a good giver. We were abandoned by those that we love or helped. In the effort to protect ourselves, we decided to scrap all the generousity crap and focus on not being “cheated”.  We do only when it’ll do good back to us.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, its understandable for a human to react this way. But as time past, this rule is established concretely in our hearts. “If you be kind, it doesn’t mean the other party will be kind to you. They may take opportunity and rat on you”.

Referring to the game theory concept by the famous matematician, John Nash, human functions this way as well 

 

Be kind

Rat on kindness shown

Be kind

$100; $100

$200; $50

Rat on kindness

$50; $200

$80; $80

Say there are two people, Blue and Green. If we look along the Blue’s decision to “be kind” or “rat on kidness shown” by Green, Blue will consider his returns. If he ‘be kind’ to Green, Green will have great temptation to ‘rat’ on his kindness because Green gets $200 by ratting on Blue’s kindness then to share $100 if they both be kind to each other. If Blue ‘be nasty’ by ratting, he knows that Green with be tempted to ‘rat’ too cause Green would want $80 return than to settle for $50 if he return’s Blue’s “nastiness” with kindness. Blue believing that Green will choose money over humanity due to precedents set by the rule of the world (“If you be kind, it doesn’t mean the other party will be kind to you. They may take opportunity and rat on you”) he decided that ‘be nasty by ratting’ will be a better choice because a $80 by ratting back will be better than a $50 to be rat at. He thus decide to rat on Green’s kindness. Green symetrically assume the same. In the end, both will rat on each other and end up with much lower return of $80. If they would have believe that the other party would return the kindness and not take opportunity on them, they would not choose to be nasty and both will settle for $100.

Is the figure given reasonable. On the whole, yes, because if you get an extreme high profit from ratting, the other will suffer great loss. That’s why we humans take precautions to avoid us being the ‘loser’.

But you might say, if the person is kind to me, I may be kind to him back. True, however, that person who also fears being cheated on will consider whether you will return the kindness or thinks that he’s a fool and rat on him. Both of you will end up facing this dilema and take the best measure on what you seem will happen.

As this continues on from generations to generations, it gets worse, thus the world fill with individualism and materialism appears. We are now afraid to lend out a helping hand. We are hessitant in the kindness shown by others. We refuse to voice out on the falling morals of the teenagers, fearing that our kindness to get things right will be targeted upon. The vicious cycle continues until one day the world will be populated by darkness.

But why aren’t we entirely in the dark? Why are we still surviving and why some of us can still seek joy from what is around us despite all this is going on?

This is because one person, just need one person, whom first gave. He stood up to give even though he knew the possible consequences. He gave out of – love. The first to give us that is God. God gave the world that you live in, made it and shape it to suit all your needs. God gave you choice and freedom even though He is aware by that, you may decide to turn your face against Him. When that happened, God still love the world that He decided to send Jesus to provide salvation to all. Many of us, felt this love of God, which is odd, that human still can be touched by the good that’s been shown to us and let us in turn give to others. One give to another, the other got touched or may rat on the kindness. But at least, the possibility of the person ratting on your kindness is lowered as the person know you come with ‘clean hearts’. One to another, the other to another, the another to another …..

William Wilberforce, took the initiative to fight with his passion and kindness in his heart to stop slave trading. In the Amazing Grace movie (based on the true story), he was transformed by God’s calling to set the example of God’s love for the people and that God made all men equal. Did he get rat on? Yes he did, for 20 years his Bill proposal was rejected over and over and his patrioticism critised for bringing this change. For another 25 years later he fought to get slave trading totally abolish and recognised this in the law. He died 3 days after slave trading was officially abolished in Britain. But his one moment of kindness turned an impact on this world and gave freedom to those once was enslaved.

John Newton, a former slave trader himself, wrote Amazing Grace song after he repented of his sins and gave his life to Jesus. In the lyrics of the song, he said “amazing grace… that saved a wretch like me“. Imagine, it was your own hands who put those bodies in little compartments, chain them and let them die because of rough journey, diseases caused by bad food and stinking air polluted with human waste because they can’t move being chained in the compartment. How could a person who was so cruel be forgiven? It was Grace from God that got him saved, because he repented. He accepted the gift of salvation that Jesus has put in front of him. That’s why the song is named “Amazing Grace” because there is no greater love and grace that could be given to a person like him.

How about you? Have you lost the courage to put forth the first move to love and be kind to others. Let God touch you and be the first to love you so that you can love others. Let Jesus show to you that greatest grace and transform you like he did with William Wilberforce. Believe in this grace and love and carry it to everything you do. Let you be the first to show another this grace, and both will benefit from it. Let you start and stone this precedent that no longer your kindness will be “rat” on, that this is the new precedent that God’s love will reign between you and your relation with others. You may stumble along the way walking with Jesus, but continue to repent and He will lift you up and empower you to do mighty things. One grace and kindness William Wilberforce showed had touched millions of lives, how about you?

This song is “Amazing Grace” from the movie’s motion picture soundtrack:

“Amazing Grace” performed by Chris Tomlin

                                    

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