You can do the right thing…

May 18, 2021

In today’s post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Pastor Freed used this quote – “It’s always easier to cancel something than to fix it.”  (Nick Zano)

The term “Cancel Culture” has become popular, due in large part to the headline grabbing stories about accounts on Facebook and Twitter being cancels for former President Trump following the Capital insurrection. Unfriending someone on a social media account is the cancel culture choice for many who disagree with their opinions. I must admit to unfriending several people on Facebook after I tired of reading their conspiracy theory posts about the last election. It was obvious that arguing with them in any attempt to fix the issue was worthless.

There are many issues in our culture that present us with the choice of canceling (ignoring) them in our minds or working to fix them. The issues raised by racism, homophobia and transgender come to mind. For many the easy way out is to just ignore the issues or turn away and ignore the ignorant rants of others against people of color or people with different sexual orientation or sexual identification. Sometimes just asking the simple question, “Why would you say that?” when you hear a racial or homophobic slur can force a discussion that would allow you to express your opinion, not on the topic so much as their reaction to the topic. You can do the right thing.

In trying to format an answer to that simple question the other person may quickly realize that they have no defensible reason for their reaction or statement, other than unfounded fears. Unfortunately, most of time that will trigger a secondary reaction of anger directed at you for having called them out. That is a small price to pay if your question causes them to have to think about the basis for their fears. Fixing things is seldom as easy as ignoring them. You can do the right thing.

You may argue that choosing to ignore an injustice and doing nothing is not wrong, but we are told in the Bible –

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

Instead, we are admonished to act –

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:17)

So, doing the right thing to fix what you see is wrong is what we are asked by God to do and taking the easy way out by choosing to ignore it or cancel it out is a sin. You can do the right thing.

It is also easy to argue (usually with yourself) that you alone cannot “fix” the problems of the world; however, you can take actions to fix the small parts of those bigger problems that you encounter, the slights or injustices that you have the power to intercede in through your actions. You can extend the hand of friendship to the shunned. You an chose not to join in the bullying or baiting of the different ort helpless. You can reach out to the lonely, the different or the oppressed in our society. You can do the right thing.

It might be easier to take the cancel culture route and unfriend someone on social media or in life, but that does nothing to fix the problems or help them. Sometimes fixing something is all about doing the right thing, being unafraid, setting an example for others to follow. Think about it. You can do the right thing.

What will you do today when you encounter prejudices, fears and hate? You really can’t cancel them out or ignore them. However. You can do the right thing.

Doing the right thing is never wrong…

October 1, 2014

“What’s right isn’t always popular.  What’s popular isn’t always right.”  (Howard Cosell). Jack featured that little saying by Howard Cosell a few weeks back on his Jack’s Winning Words blog.

I remember Howard Cosell. When I was younger, he was one of the major voices of sports. I think I first heard him interviewing Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali) right after he won the heavyweight championship over Sonny Liston. Howard went on to have a long and always controversial career in sports broadcasting.  He wasn’t always popular.

This quote speaks directly to a major lesson that all parents try to teach their children. It’s usually within the context of judging right and wrong, but almost always also about understanding how to deal with peer pressure when making those decisions. Doing what is right is made all the more difficult if it is not what is popular; however, it is never the wrong thing to do. Eventually even teens understand that doing what is right will earn them a better reputation over the long run than going along to get along. Others will know that they can count on you to do the right thing and that builds trust. Having trust in someone is a major ingredient in any true relationship.

kids at schoolThere are so many choices (opportunities) presented to youth today that involve serious consequences if they make the wrong (sometimes the popular) decisions. The constant flow of new and different drugs that are readily available at the corner gas station is just one example. Experimenting with those drugs may seem to be popular, but that doesn’t make it right. No one ends up in the emergency room of the hospital for saying “no” to that temptation.

Later in life the temptations may become more subtle, but there is still a line there somewhere between right and wrong, no matter how popular something may be.  Discerning that line and staying on the right side of it may be a challenge, but it’s a challenge made easier if one starts with a strong sense of self and a good moral compass.

I’m a believer that one must first love themselves before they can love others. You must be comfortable and secure with who you are and not always striving to be like someone else.  Once you are satisfied with who and what you are; you can start to seek out others to share your life with. You will be popular with those people because you are giving of yourself and not just taking from them in an attempt to be like them. They will like you for who you are, not who you are trying to be.

Perhaps another little quote from Jack’s blog sums that up nicely –proud

“Be yourself.  Everyone else is taken.”  (Nicole Barutha)

So go out in the world today and be the best you that you can be. Do the right things. Do right by others and don’t worry about whether that is popular or not. The only one that you need to be popular with is you. Others may follow you along that path or you may follow others along the same path; soon you may even notice that you are now part of a crowd of happy people doing the right things. You’ve become popular without even trying.