I have always been a big fan of titles. Having a title that made me feel more valuable than I believed I was, not necessarily matching my credentials. For me, the title on my business card was often more of an aspiration than a reality. I always wanted to market as better than I was. When I reflect on this behaviour, it wasn’t all that bad; it also meant that I would try to live up to a higher standard.

One of the things that I am coming to appreciate is that it’s not about a job role or a title. It’s about looking out for the interests of others, no matter who they are. I am constantly challenged by the words of a song that we use to sing at church, “Except I am moved with compassion, how dwelleth thy Spirit in me?”

The words of that song are continuously running through my mind as I interact with people. My decision making is often prefixed with a personal challenge to act with kindness and compassion. In situations where I would often get frustrated, I am reminded to work in a way that demonstrates both kindness and compassion to others. One could easily interpret this to be adding value to people.
A few weeks ago, I arrived at church early. With the pastors being on holiday, they had asked me to lead the service on that particular morning. It was one of the most straightforward services I have ever run as the service was live streamed from one of our other locations.

When I arrived, there was a homeless man at the door to the church. It was my pleasure to meet him for the first time. He introduced himself and asked if he could come in to use the kitchen to make something for his breakfast. As I didn’t know him, I was hesitant to let him into the building while I was alone. As it was cold, I opened up the foyer entrance for him. I mentioned to him that I could not let him in any further, explaining my reasoning. I could have left him outside in the cold until someone else showed up, but I was moved with kindness and compassion.

I went about doing what I needed to do to get everything set up for the service. However, I wanted to do more for this gentleman. As soon as everything was ready, I went back downstairs and opened up the kitchen to let him make himself something for breakfast. During this time, I had a conversation with him and got to know a little bit about him, about his situation.

To me, it doesn’t matter what someone’s social status is; it’s all about humanity. It’s not about titles that allow me to pump myself up with my self-importance. It’s about breaking down barriers and being able to connect with all people, no matter what. The moment we use titles, we often alienate people.