I think that most of us have a sense of right and wrong and sometimes we struggle with doing what is right when things get tough for us. Maybe you’ve told a lie to hide something you did to cover up a mistake. Maybe you threw someone under the bus to cover your own butt. Maybe you didn’t speak up when someone was being hurt, harassed or talked about in a negative way. None of us are perfect and I am sure if I asked, all of us would say we have done one of these at least once in our lives.
But have you ever noticed people who, despite the trials or pressure they are under they don’t cave in? They stand up for the truth, for what is right. I tend to gravitate towards those people. I don’t think they are that way to be prideful and suggest they are better than anyone else, but that they simply have a code of conduct that they live by and have strong beliefs in what they feel is right and stick by that no matter what.
While I may not agree with someones particular belief about a subject, I can appreciate that person’s convictions on that topic and their absolute resolve in what they believe in and the fact that they will not compromise. Do you know anyone like that? Do you know anyone who, despite even being ridiculed or cast aside, stands firm in their convictions? Someone who believes and says what he/she says not to win favor, but to be honorable?
Keep in mind, I am not particularly talking about religion, though it could be, but I am simply referring to anything. Any topic at all. Even politics or social justices which are hot button issues today. I find that I have great respect for such a person. It takes a great deal of courage to go against the grain and hold fast to things you believe in, even if it isn’t popular. To be able to withstand the judgement of others for the cause. I also hold in high esteem those individuals who perhaps miss the mark. They make a mistake, or realize the error of their previous actions or statements and are willing to admit them and take ownership of them. I respect that as well.
I think our human nature tends for us to be self-preservationists. We will often do what ever it takes to save face and not seem like we were in the wrong. But a truly courageous person, can admit his or her failings and try to do better moving forward. That is the person I strive to be. I am surely not there yet.
I just watched a documentary on HBO about Senator John McCain. Entitled, John McCain, For Whom The Bell Tolls. Besides hearing about Senator McCain’s life and the history of his politics and military service, what I find most remarkable and respectable about this man are his strong convictions and fortitude. His ability to do what is right, even if it isn’t popular. To stand up to people and for people, even his political opponents, when something untrue is being spoken about them. The ability to admit his failings and apologize for mistakes. I find that moral character to be so attractive in a person. The strength of doing what is right no matter the cost. I think most people can agree that even if you disagree politically with Senator McCain, one can respect his character and courage.
I encourage you to look within yourself and really think about what you believe in. What are some of the beliefs you hold to be true? Would you be the person to stand up for others? Would you be able to admit your failings? These things take courage. Can you do what is right? Be strong in your convictions and be courageous? I hope that we can all take inventory and try to be persons of strong conviction and character.