That’s how many days (give or take a few) you have if you live to be 80. Some may have more, many will have less. How will you live yours? Will you be a builder or a wrecker?
Several years ago I heard a poem read on the radio. It asked that question of the listeners. I remember thinking…”I’m a builder”…but just as quickly, thoughts of “wrecking” words I had spoken in the past were brought to mind.
We try our best to be a positive force in life – most of the time we succeed, sometimes we fail miserably. I don’t have any tattoos, but “Be a builder” would be a good one. If I always took a moment, took a breath before reacting to stressful situations – I think I’d do better.
Sometimes the things we say which we feel are building someone up, may actually be doing the opposite. Social media is often used to build others up – I love it for that option, but I’ve also seen it used to tear down.
Be very careful of your hastily typed words – make sure they are building up, and not tearing down, your intended target. Don’t hide behind a cause or a movement or an emotionally charged topic. Perhaps sending a private message is appropriate to the situation.
If I’ve ever said anything to you that has hurt you, the reader, please let me know. If I’ve ever said anything to you that has encouraged you, please let me know as well. Encouragement is contagious! Spread it around generously and often.
Now, here’s the original poem which inspired me. Print it out and post it somewhere close to remind you of the choice you make each time you speak or write. Carry on.
A Builder or a Wrecker
As I watched them tear a building down
A gang of men in a busy town
With a ho-heave-ho, and a lusty yell
They swung a beam and the side wall fell.
I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
And the men you’d hire if you wanted to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,
Just common labor is all I need.”
“I can easily wreck in a day or two,
What builders have taken years to do.”
And I thought to myself, as I went my way
Which of these roles have I tried to play’
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by rule and square?
Am I shaping my work to a well-made plan
Patiently doing the best I can’
Or am I a wrecker who walks to town
Content with the labor of tearing down?
“O Lord let my life and my labors be
That which will build for eternity!”