The Party Was Planned… but NOBODY Showed Up

The Party Was Planned… but NOBODY Showed Up

It is always nice to be invited… It feels good to be included. But sometimes we take invitations for granted. There is no telling how many 80th birthday parties and 50th wedding anniversary events I have attended over the years. On many of those occasions I dutifully changed out of my Saturday attire, shaved, and cleaned up so I could go and support that individual. I never really thought much about it. I just thought it was the right choice to make. I ended up officiating at funerals at a later date for a number of those individuals. Even though I was a little grouchy about cleaning up on a Saturday afternoon I was always glad I went.

What if everyone took an invitation lightly? What if all of the guests decided that it was too much trouble to attend the function to which they had been invited? What would the consequences be if every invitee chose to be elsewhere? Does that sound a little far fetched? Maybe not…

Last week I received an email that was sent to a group of people from a distraught mother. It seems that a party was planned to celebrate her daughter’s 10th birthday. This girl is precious. She is as sweet as they come. But on the day of the party the unthinkable occurred. Nobody showed up. No one that was invited made the party that day. The little girl was heartbroken to say the least. Her mother relayed that her daughter cried herself to sleep on the night of her birthday.

There are days that I would prefer to be hard hearted. Life would be much simpler. The day I read that email was one of them. I know this girl. I have watched her grow up. I can’t handle stories like that.  Events like that go with kids for a long time…

I have had a few days to process the circumstances surrounding her failed party. Several thoughts seem to stand out. An invitation is an honor. It is an honor to celebrate a milestone with a friend. The least we can do is let them know if we can’t show up. I am also reminded that people are important. It is never a good idea to let our selfish pursuits take precedence over relationships. And finally…we are living in a culture that does not seem to value good manners. Sometimes it is just good manners to show up when invited.  And of course there is that matter of “do onto others…”

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