Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Attributed-Edmund Burke, British House of Commons
The passing of another night had done nothing to minimize the influence of those words. I heard that quote again the other night and it has swirled in the unused spaces of my brain ever since. It was all too sobering. It seemed all too discomforting.
I wondered as I posted our American flag this morning if simply hanging our nation’s symbol of all we stand for, and can be in the world, was enough to move me past the point of “doing nothing.” Of course, I knew better. But hanging the flag was after all a statement of what I believed.
I wonder if just identifying and commenting—or in some cases, criticizing—what should be different in our world, our nation, communities and individual lives was enough. I suspect none of that is enough. That is why those words continue to haunt me even now.
As you think about them, think about this for a moment with me.
In your personal lives—what one thing would you like to see different? Something you need to change, or would like to change, in your own life. Perhaps it’s a habit heading toward an addiction. Perhaps it’s an educational pursuit. Maybe a relationship you need to pour more of yourself into, selflessly. Maybe you need to make a career change or addition. Perhaps you need to make a wholesale adjustment of your priorities for the sake of your spouse, your children, even you.
And then, what steps could you take to change that one thing?
In the nation or world—what one thing would you like to see different and changed, fixed or cured? Poverty, child abuse and human trafficking, civility restored within the lives of our leaders, a return to the values and traditions which have made our nation exemplary, ending homelessness, stemming the tide of lost generations of children to the streets and without an education to give them a chance at life, and a return to the God who waits patiently for us to turn.
And then, what steps could you take—perhaps while also mobilizing others to your cause—to change that one thing?
Then finally, let me ask each of us this—why aren’t we doing it? Why aren’t we doing what each of us can do to change those areas—in our personal lives and in our nation and world?
Just a few good men and women, doing whatever they can do to change the world around them. It seems as though that was what Christ was looking for in the days of His ministry on earth over two-thousand-years ago. He started with twelve.
I suspect that He is still looking today—
…within the walls of our homes and hearts;
…on the streets where gangs roam and children are abused;
…in pockets of poverty, AIDS and despair we see on the evening news;
…where genocide takes place, and the world responds with apathy;
…wherever and whenever we find ourselves looking into the face of need.
You may be the only hand, heart and hope for that one person before you.
Remember to consider this as you consider what to do—
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is
for good men [and women] to do nothing.”
Just something for us all to think about today and every day for the rest of our lives.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2014. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.