You are not special

by Anna Blanch on February 28, 2013


Working with ‘the public’ for the last four or five months, one pervasive attitude has struck me as being detrimental to our communities growing and thriving. It’s something that I don’t see the church as being immune from either  and some of the people I’ve come across in the ‘public sphere’ who have made it known they are christian have actually been   the worst offenders in perpetuating this attitude. What am I referring to?

The belief that each of is special.

And hang on a second, before you get all cranky with me…..bless your cotton socks, you are special. Your momma probably thinks so, and a good thing too. Each of us is most certainly made in the image of God. What I mean is an attitude that this specialness entitles you, privileges you, guarantees you the right to treat those who are serving you in a hospitality or commercial context like they are less than you.

This culture that you are always right as the customer and that you are entitled to treat people badly perpetuates a certain kind of selfishness and self-centredness that is fundamentally detrimental to the civility of our communities.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ask for what you would like, but do so with politeness. Be kind!

Those serving you in hospitality or retail cannot read your mind. They often want to give you exactly what you want – but when the sign says “closed” asking to be served anyway because you only want x…. Or requesting to pay by eftpos or visa or amex when there’s a sign which says ‘cash only’ is just a fool’s errand.

Speaking of which, I just want should not be part of your vocabulary. Please teach your children this!

I know it’s an interesting and perhaps controversial twist, but let’s address this matter more generally: though we are all created by God, you are not given a pass to be rude or demanding. Let’s be a little kinder to each other. This also, heaven forbid, applies in the way we rebuke or ‘speak truth’ to each other. Even if you are a Christian leader.

I am not the exception.

You are not the exception.

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  • Tom Perrault

    Western civilization has produced several generations of “individuals” whose greatest desire (demand) is self-fulfillment, via unlimited personal freedom…and the “right” to happiness at all times, above all else. I’m reminded of a ‘Seinfeld’ episode (of course!) in which George says, “I just wan it the way I want it – Is that so selfish?” And Jerry replies, “Actually, George, that’s the DEFINITION of ‘selfish’.”

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