On this day in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act. This bill had passed the House by a vote of 394 Yay, 38 not voting and 1 Nay. The bill passed easily through the Senate by a voice vote.
The one Nay vote came from a very conservative member of the Republican Party from the state of Illinois, Representative Phil Crane. Representative Crane served in the House of Representatives from 1969 to 2004 (35 years). My research of available records gave me no insight as to why he voted “nay” on legislation that every other person either supported or did not care about. And, his “nay” vote is still part of the official record now 26 years later.
Can you imagine the comments that he got from friends and foes alike? What did his family say to him every time the news reported that there was only one negative vote and that it had come from him?
But, let’s pretend for a moment that we can find no reason for him being the only vote of “no.” It’s true, sometimes we don’t know why people do what they do.
We all have situations like that in our group of family and friends. You know, the person who said or did something that was not what you expected of them or seemed to be totally out of character. One or two of you are shaking your heads in agreement, thinking “we still don’t understand what we did wrong to tick them off like that” or “she is crazy stubborn about that one issue” or “if he could just be quiet, the holidays would be so much nicer.” We don’t understand why that individual has decided to stand alone, taking a stand that none of the rest of us understand.
So what do we do with that “odd” one in our crowd? Remember that during the holidays, it is pretty much guaranteed that you will have to deal with that “one nay vote” person in your clan. Here are my recommendations:
Ignore their quirky ways.
And, if they say something rude or act differently than the rest of the group, just look at them and smile, thinking to yourself “perhaps they forgot to take their medication this morning.” (And, hopefully they will do the same for us.)
Practice what Ralph Waldo Emerson suggested: “Sprinkle joy.” I promise you that the one who lives a “no” answer will someday remember your kindness and you will be blessed even if they never say a word to you.
“You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.” (Job 10:12)