Some time ago a question was asked on this blog. Follow up posts attempted to deal with whether or not it is enough to be a good person, but no definitive conclusion has been developed to that question. Perhaps one never will be, but I do think we should explore it from time to time. At this time of year, with King’s birthday being a few days ago on January 15, and the recognized holiday falling today, my thoughts return to the question. I feel that King’s thoughts, words, and actions can continually shed light on this conundrum, even though it is up to us to answer, and to live that answer.
On this occasion, I am drawn to what I believe are King’s most powerful words. They may bring clarity, or they may muddy the waters. Some time ago, my thoughts turned from wondering what it means to “be good” to also wonder what it means “to be right.” As we have started this new decade these thoughts resurfaced. There are many questions about what is exactly the right path to take on so many issues. Personal, family, community, local, national, and world issues come at us from all sides and we are left to wonder what decisions to make, and left to wonder if we are good enough to make them, or even understand them.
I feel I could digress and give examples of the struggles for what is good and right on so many issues: relationships, poverty, conflict, and environment are only a few. Instead, I will simply reprint his words, ponder them, leave you to ponder them, and be open to your reflections. Feel free to comment here, email me, give me a call, or talk it up the next time we meet. There’s something out there about good and right. As was commented on an earlier post, perhaps it has to do with love. I’ve rambled and been incoherent enough. The following words get to the point, and should serve as a guide when we struggle with any decision:
“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”- MLK Jr.
We will have a lot of questions and decisions in the next decade. Let’s make the right choices.
Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 81 this past Friday.