Thursday, September 9, 2010

Nobody Should Be a "Project"

I don't reach out to anyone any differently than I reach out to everyone - unless I feel impressed to do so on an individual level. I smile at everyone; I talk with everyone; I hug or shake hands with everyone; I flirt with all of the older widows (and many of the older non-widows, whose husbands love it); I play with all the kids; etc.

I am bothered more than I can express whenever I hear someone talking about someone else as a "project" - as the focus of something that has to be done.
I believe the best help I can give anyone is to get to know them and sincerely befriend them. That's when I can usually get the best inspiration about how I can help them.


ji said...

Very insightful -- thanks!

Thomas Parkin said...

Bainsh all lists of projects!!!

Anonymous said...

I believe Elder Marlin Jensen gave a conference address a few years ago on this very topic. Good subject. Many years ago, my missionary companion and I befriended a nonmember husband in a town we worked in, a man who had banned anyone from the church from visiting his home. We had no ulterior motives; we were simply friends. By the time I left that town, he actually came to church. Making him a project would never have accomplished that.

Anonymous said...

This topic has been on my mind lately, and I completely agree with you.

Bradley Ross said...

While I get what you're saying, I disagree with your framing. You imply that making a project of something will, by its very nature, strip the genuineness out of it.

A counter example. My mother, as a teenager, was in a family of totally inactive members. Her Beehive class made a project out of her. Those girls made an extra effort to invite and befriend her. She gained a testimony and has been active in the church since that time. She is still, 50 years later, dear friends with some of those girls.

The ripple effect of that project brought my father into the church and allowed me to be born into the church.

Nobody wants to be a project for people who don't sincerely care. But I'm sure grateful for a group of teenage girls who took their project seriously and made a wonderful friend in the process.

Papa D said...

Thanks, everyone.

Bradley, I think your mother probably fits into my category of "unless I feel impressed to do so on an individual level". I'm glad the girls in that class took the time and effort to "get to know (her) and sincerely befriend (her)" - which is different than what I mean by making her a project.