Consideration

There is a plug-in sports game I loved as a teen. It was made by Coleco and featured the 11 or 12 players, depending if you were playing by CFL or NFL rules, buzzing around on the metal surface. The little magnetic football would be stuck to the magnetic surface at the base of the player. There was also a quarterback with a moveable arm. You would place the football in his throwing hand and adjust the spring and hope it would land on the intended receiver’s base. There was also a kicker and goalposts, etc…

What made the game a little frustrating was that you really had no idea where the players would move, so a running play could last for an hour. It was not clear from the rules what constituted a play-ending tackle. Watching the players buzz around the surface reminds me of how I see most people interacting, a random sense of going in this direction and that but little thought or plan as to where we would to go.

What I notice about people is their consideration of others. I notice when people are not buzzing about but looking around them and trying to discern how they can be helpful, what are the needs around them, what is it that I can do to improve the situation? And I am not the only one who notices.

There is a small minority of people who have the opposite reaction, they look at the situation in front of them and think “what is it that I need?” Thinking solely of self is the exact opposite of consideration. When people ask me what we can do to encourage a culture of consideration I say be intentional and obvious about your concern for the other. It tends to rub off, at least on the people who are buzzing around without a direction or intention.

I notice that Buddhists use the word intention a lot and I like how it is used. I wish Christians would do likewise. I think one of the things that set Jesus apart was his intention, Jesus’ intention was always consideration even when it was tough love. Jesus might respond to tough words from literalists and Pharisees with equally sharp words but the tone of his words showed consideration for even those who challenged him. Jesus believed everyone was redeemable, his tough words intending to make a change. And there were not only words but deeds. In fact where Jesus went, with whom he spent time, spoke volumes of his consideration.

At the end of the day think about where your feet have taken you, did you get there because the buzzing beneath our feet took you there by accident or did you assess the situation and move to be considerate of others?