May 24


Today's Quotation:

Ask yourself:  If I know something to be true, am I prepared to follow it, even though it is contrary to what I want or to what I have previously held to be true?  Will I follow it if it means being laughed at, if it means personal financial loss, or some kind of hardship?

Eric Liddell

Today's Meditation:

Conviction tends to be hard to come by.  The line between conviction and stubbornness seems to grow dimmer all the time as we tend to see standing by one's convictions less as a sign of strong character and more as a sign of a closed mind.  The trick lies in recognizing what is truly the truth, and what is something that we believe for now, but that may change.

For example, I used to believe that competition is always a very positive part of our lives, and that teaching kids how to function in competitive situations was very important for them.  I don't believe that now.  I believe that we overdo competition, and our kids suffer a great deal of stress and undergo many problems because of our emphasis on it.  I wouldn't have changed my perspective if I hadn't been open to hearing and accepting the views of others who disagreed with me, or without having a mind open enough to recognize that what I was seeing didn't support my beliefs.

On the other hand, I believe very strongly that children should be treated with dignity and respect, and I will stand up for that belief whenever I'm called to, for the rest of my life.

But that's an easy one--there are few people who would cause me to stand up for that by presenting an opposing view.  One that wasn't so easy was a few years ago when I complained to our city government about softball games that were going on until midnight at a field a couple of hundred yards from our house.  I was seen as a selfish person, a killjoy, even though my major complaint was that our school-aged children were being kept awake until after midnight by cheering crowds when they should have been able to sleep.  (To the city's credit, they did make some significant changes.)

What are you willing to stand up for?  On the day I die, I have a feeling that I'll be more concerned about the things that I stood up for than about the things that didn't interest me so much.  I hope that I'll be able to look back with satisfaction at having stood up for some important causes.

Questions to ponder:

1.  How can we know that something is true enough for us to risk our own status quo to stand up for it?

2.  If you had a major ethical dilemma at work, could you leave your job even if it meant significant financial loss?

3.  What are some of your personal truths that have changed over time?

For further thought:

Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.

Robert Brault



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