[Monday Message] What do you stand for?

Last week, I wrote about priorities, and suggested you figure out what the three areas in your life which are most important to you are. Those are (or speak to) your core values. If you know your core values, you know what you stand for, you know what you’ll fight form, and you know what you will help foster.

Modern Proverb: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

People who aren’t in touch with their core values don’t have a strong moral compass. They are easily led or swayed, and don’t stand up for what is right. Some people also prefer the path of least resistance. Both are dangerous.

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.

Ask yourself what your reaction is when you are encouraged to do something that doesn’t serve the common welfare. Do you shrug and go along with it? Or do you say that you cannot be a part of it? Where do you see your responsibility ending?

What if that encouragement comes from an authority figure, whether that is your boss, your parent, or a member of the government? Do you do things that you don’t particularly admire because they are part of your job or what the government says is for the best? Do you see where you could be a part of creating positive change, simply by standing up for what you believe in?

I read a book a few years ago, a memoir of a Jewish man who had been up and coming in the publishing world in the 30s in Germany. It puts forth how it was to be a German citizen between the world wars. I had been curious how it might have been to be an ordinary citizen during that time, why people didn’t stand up and put a stop to the rise of fascism and hatred. Mostly, it was easier not to.

Who do you want to be? What sort of a world do you want to leave for future generations? What is your obligation to humanity? Remember that “Am I my brother’s keeper?” was a question posed by said brother’s murderer. Allowing yourself to be used as a tool for that which you do not believe in, or are even ashamed of, is a slippery slope. The more you excuse your behavior, the more of your behavior you are willing to excuse. It only gets easier over time.

This post is part of a series called Monday Message, based on that day’s reflection from 365 Days to Enlightenment (authorized versions are currently out of print, working on a new edition). Check back next Monday for another one! You can also sign up for the Daily Message on my mailing list if you’d like to receive a new reflection every day. I also often post them to Instagram, if that’s a medium you enjoy.

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