Now this article is in no way an effort to diminish or make light of what Georgia State Trooper Nathan Bradley has and is doing for the Howard family. In fact in praise of what he has done and is doing, I wrote an article, just last week, applauding the actions of Trooper Bradley in his efforts to help and comfort the Howard family after the tragic loss of Donald and Crystal Howard. (See: Thank You: Georgia State Trooper Nathan Bradley) However, this article is a comment on how far we have fallen as a society!
I thought about this as I read the countless comments in response to what Trooper Bradley has done that described him as being “an extraordinary person” or a “super human being!” As I read those comments, I thought about an illustration Jesus gave that is recorded in Luke 17:7-10, Jesus asked his listeners: “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'” (Luke 17:7-10 ESV) The point Jesus was making was that one should not expect to receive praise or reward for merely doing what is required! My point in citing the illustration is to point out the fact that what Nathan Bradley did and is doing is really not extraordinary, but rather it is really “normal” human behavior! We deem it as extraordinary because, in our society, the milk of human compassion and the love for other human beings has so dissipated that “normal” good, moral, and loving behavior is considered as something above and beyond! Now again, this is not to diminish the actions of Nathan Bradley, but rather it is a call for us to realistically look at ourselves as a society!
It has gotten to the point that you really don’t have to do anything extraordinary to be considered extraordinary! An example of this attitude is reflected in our educational system. Today, many school systems have implemented programs that reward students for “good behavior!” But when I was in school, “good behavior” was normal and expected, so the only awards and rewards given were for good grades! At my house, the only rewards I received were for really good grades! I said “really good grades” because in the house I grew up in, excellence was command, required and expected, therefore, average grades were neither acceptable nor rewarded! But our standards have fallen so low today that many students expect to be rewarded just for showing up for class! (And it’s sad to say, but in some cases they are!)
No! Nathan is not extraordinary; Nathan is normal! If what he did and what he is doing seems extraordinary, it is because we have accepted the-less-than-normal as being normal for so long that we think what is actually normal is extraordinary! But it really is “normal” to love your neighbor as yourself!
So, if what Nathan Bradley did on the evening of October 31, 2015 and what he has been doing in the aftermath of this tragedy really is “normal,” then what does that say about the inaction of people who see people in need on a daily basis and make no effort to help them? What does that say about us as a society? And if what he did and is doing really is extraordinary, then what does that say about us as a society if we deem the daily insensitivity, violence, hatred, and inhuman treatment to be normal? Not judging; just thinking! What do you think?