I have always been a black and white sort of guy, with clear ideas of what is right and what is wrong. That belief in absolutes can put me at odds with the society and culture I live in.
As I grow older though, I have softened a little, I think. Not in my belief in absolutes. I still firmly believe in good. I still condemn evil. But I think through Grace I am a little less quick to judge others (which is a good thing) and a little more understanding of the greys of this world. Empathy is different from acceptance though.
A few months ago I came across this quote from the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. It struck me then, and continues to impact me with its wisdom. In a world full of greys, when what is right is frequently not popular, not in step with political correctness or popular culture, sometimes you have to take a stand. That takes courage. Martin Luther King Jr. saw courage this way:
“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles;
Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
To which all I can add is: Amen.