Thursday, March 31, 2011

When Right Seems Wrong

    I saw a very moving video this morning.  It was about a woman's collegiate softball player, who in her senior year, hit her first home run.  This Western Oregon player ran for first and missed touching the base.  She turned around to touch the pad but her right leg stayed in place.  She tore her ACL.  Crawling to the base, she hugged it, in obvious pain.  As everyone stared in disbelief, her coach asked the umpire if her teammates could help her.  He informed her that it would be a two run single.  The run would not count.
    Looking on, one of the opposing team asked if they would be allowed to help her.  The umpire told the Central Washington player that it would be allowed.  The opponent flagged a fellow member, and they picked up the injured ballplayer and carefully walked her around the bases.  They gently lowered her left leg down at each base, so her foot could touch the pad.  As the women looked up, they saw emotional tears throughout the ballfield.  The gallant teammates said that they helped their injured opponent, because she deserved it.  Central Washington lost the game that day by two points, yet the two helpful players were winners.  They helped their opponent acheive her goal of getting a home run.  They knew it was the right thing to do.
     The right thing to do.  How often have we heard those words?  "Do the right thing, Do what's right".  We grow up hearing those words of wisdom.  At times it is easier to do when we are alone. Yet, when we are with others, the decision can be more difficult.  If  'the right thing' is contrary to popular belief, that can pose a dilemma.  We don't want to look odd or different.  If we are in a large group, we can risk the anger of the whole assembly. 
     The young ballplayer that took it upon herself to volunteer to help her opposing teammate, risked the ire of her whole team.  She didn't call a meeting of the entire squad to discuss what should be done.  She consulted the umpire, and then marched over to the injured player.  She knew in her heart what she had to do.  We should take heed to her example.  
     Harper Lee, in To Kill A Mockingbird, stated "Before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself.  The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."   That still small voice inside the athlete that probed her what to do, encourages us to do the same.  Something that doesn't make sense in the face of public opinion, many times could be the correct choice.  
     While the world teaches us to look out for ourselves, God tells us to do the opposite.  Righteous is defined as "characterized by uprightness or morality".  It is used 238 times in the Bible.  Righteousness is used 302 times.  God clearly deemed 'the right thing' as important.  The Ten Commandments are based on righteousness.  They are the Heavenly Father's guidelines for us to live a morally upright and blessed life.  The first four commandments deal with our relationship to God, and the next six direct us how to interact with our fellow men and women. 
     What are some of the circumstances in which we must choose to do the right thing?  Perhaps it could be loving the unlovable.  It could be someone that others refer to as "weird" or "odd".  Maybe the majority think this person is strange and do not want to waste time trying to befriend them.  You could be the person that God has chosen to love them unconditionally.  You could be the one that holds the key to unbolting the shackles of their locked and lonely world.  Everyone needs to be loved.  Don't close your heart to the possibilities.
     You may find yourself in a situation where you differ from the majority in a morality dispute.  The idea that "everyone does it" can be found almost anywhere.  It takes great courage to stand in the face of 'majority rules' and stick up for what is the right thing to do.  Will others look at you as eccentric?  Probably.  But that is the risk that we all take in order to live upright lives.  It is more important on how we look to God...and to the man or woman in the mirror. 
     For at the end of the day, whether or not we live with another person, we don't live alone.  We have to live with ourselves.  We have to look within ourselves every day and determine if we have lived that day to the best of our ability.  Did the choices we make please God...or please the majority?  Did we change something in the world for good or help it to stay the same?   As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "The time is always right to do what is right".

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