Easier ‘to be’ back then

Patti Dobson

Patti Dobson

By Patti Dobson

Religion columnist

A seasoned friend of mine made an off-the-cuff remark the other day. She said that it was easier “to be” in her growing up time.

Curious, I asked her to explain. After all, we live in a technological age, filled with all sorts of modern conveniences, health improvements, and so on. While she agreed with part of what I said, she stood her ground about 80 years back being an easier time.

Things were easier because people had conversations. Friends met on the porch, chatted about the news of the day and caught up with events in each other’s lives. You knew what happened in the community, when someone needed assistance or a shoulder. People cared about one another.
If a neighbor was in trouble, people in the community would lend a hand, whether asked or not. Bags of groceries would be left on the porch, an envelope with a few spare bucks tucked inside would be slipped under the front door, a neighbor would appear offering to take the kids for a bit.

Families would return home to find their lawns had been clipped and edged. Mysterious angels would do good deeds. Differences of opinions were just that, nothing more or less. If you had a disagreement, the parties involved talked it over, made up and shook hands if necessary, and got on with the business of living.

We waste a lot of time focusing on the wrong things, she said. We’d be much better off if we live from a place of faith rather than a place of winning the race.

She’s a wise lady. It’s pretty trivial, she says, when someone treats you badly over a perceived slight when you’re trying to come to grips with the loss of your spouse. It’s hard to pay attention to someone’s petty comments about what you have or haven’t done when you’re fighting illness. It is a waste of precious energy to battle someone else’s insecurities when you don’t know how you’ll feed your family.

I’ve seen her struggles firsthand, and am amazed how she responds to challenges with her grace and dignity intact. She is an example of living from a place of faith.

She has something here, thinking back to a simpler way of living. We all get knocked around by life as it is – work, paying bills, getting kids through school, losing loved ones, and a myriad of obligations and problems.
We get so caught up in the daily grind that we forget to live. Sad when we remember that we’re here for a short time. Maybe the best gift we can give ourselves, and those around us, is living our best life from a place of faith.

Regardless of what life – or people – throw our way, we respond from that place of faith. And like she has been to me, maybe we can become a beacon of hope and light for others.

“When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile” (Unknown).

Patti Dobson writes about faith for the Portales News-Tribune. Contact her at: padobson@hotmail.com