Leap Year Lesson #308: Don’t Just Sit There – Do Something

Posted: November 5, 2012 in Behavior
Tags: , , ,

Howard Beale in the movie “Network”

We’ve all heard the Edmund Burke quote (or a close variation of it) that “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”  It’s a reminder that we cannot stand on the sidelines and watch evil, immoral actions take place while we remain silent, or else we are complicit in the wrongdoing.  We may not like that thought because it is simpler to console ourselves and justify our inaction than it is to risk getting involved and try to make a difference.

In Christian lingo there are “sins of omission” – much the same idea as the above in that sins are not just bad things we do but also good things we do not do.

The rule applies to many areas of life – government, business, interpersonal relationships, civic and religious organizations, random encounters, etc.  In short, wherever we are, there exists the potential for “good” people to stand by and do nothing while those who hurt, abuse and cause all manner of harm are somehow allowed to continue their actions without others stepping up and stepping in to shout in unison “no more!”  And so the harm continues.  And so those remaining silent on the sidelines stand guilty for failure to stop it.

I realize that each of us is just one voice, but each of us is still one voice and that voice must be heard in opposition to wrong.  Age is no excuse.  Fear is no excuse.  Previous battle scars are no excuse.  Lack of support from others is no excuse.  Being tired is no excuse.  Hesitancy to challenge someone in leadership is no excuse.

What wrongs could be corrected and what failed leadership could be stopped in its tracks if voice after voice finally stood up like Howard Beale in the movie Network and proclaimed “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”?  If you’ve sulked on the sidelines of failed leadership and the harmful actions of others long enough, then stand up and do something about it.

Leap year lesson #308 is Don’t just sit there – do something.

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