Words of Hope: Better People

One of the longtime slogans at NBC Camps is the mission to be better players and better people. Dad and I discussed this often—how can we create a place for people to become better? My colleague once asked, “What is our standard of declaring something to be better?” 

This is a key consideration; one pondered throughout the ages. Pope John Paul made it the central theme of his ministry, “the more excellent way.” This excellent way calls to me. I long to walk a path leading to deeper love in my relationships with people and with God. Yet, how often do we march forward on the “more excellent way” only to find ourselves more entrenched in alienated relationships and deeper frustration? How do we rise above our own inner blindness and compulsion to harm ourselves and others and truly become better people?

One of my heroes, along with my Dad, was Evangeline Booth. In 1934, Evangeline Booth became general of the United States Salvation Army. She was sixty-nine years old. Her father founded the Salvation Army in England, but under Evangeline’s leadership, the U.S. Division became the strongest non-profit organization in the world. Even in her nineties, Evangeline received thousands of pieces of correspondence, including offers for her hand in marriage. During an interview, a reporter met with her and asked why her leadership had made her so beloved. She replied, “I want to live my life in such a way I make those around me better.” Dad and I both loved her answer. A father can’t answer this question; his children must answer by their lives—are the children better people because of their father? A coach can’t answer this question; his team must demonstrate the answer. This is the beauty of the fruit of living a better life. The result is in the fruit. Better trees produce better fruit. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. – Galatians 5:22