Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Voiceless

Friday, June 24, 2011 at 4:26pm
'All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.' Edmund Burke
Yes, to do nothing and remain silent.

How often does everyday life give us the opportunity to speak up for someone, for something we believe in?

Not very often. And even if we do get the chance, we often chicken out, and choose the easier path. To let it pass.

Countless times I regret later that I did not speak up and instead chose to squirm in my comfort zone when I knew I should have stood up and said something.

This world would be an even sadder place if there weren't the blessed few throughout the centuries who stood up, risked their lives and declared the truth. Or exposed it.

All of us are given unique opportunities. Some are given fewer opportunities than others. So what do we do when we have so much? Is it fair for those who have less that we keep our talents and opportunities for ourselves?

It's true that for those who are given more, much more is expected from them. Can you think of people who have so much in this life, but who live selfishly, keeping it all to themselves? Do you really want to be them? Do you really want to have their talents and yet share your gifts with no one?

'A man can receive nothing unless it is given to him from Heaven.' John 2:10

All that we have, 5 talents, or even 1 talent and opportunity, is given to us from God. Why so unfair, we wonder. But really, if you think about it, sometimes it can be a scarier thing to be given MORE. Because it is not to be kept to ourselves! The more we are given, the heavier the responsibility falls on us to do something purposeful with our gifts. And not to make a name for ourselves, but to use it to bless those who were not blessed with the opportunities to develop such talents.

Likewise, some of us are placed in positions to speak up for those who have no voice. It is not limited to adults, or to people in positions of authority. Where we are, in our schools, at work, we are in a position to speak up for those who are bullied, manipulated, and taken advantage of. If we see injustice and remain quiet, we are guilty of being complicit already. If we see lies and know the truth, but remain silent, we are already indirectly liars.

A zen saying goes, 'To know and not to do is not to know.'

It begins with the little things I guess. Sometimes we aim too high, expect too much of ourselves, that we neglect to seize the smaller opportunities that will help build our confidence and maturity to tackle the bigger things!

There are too many in our society who are voiceless, who stand in the shadows and go unnoticed, unreached, every single day. Often in our self-importance, we stride past these people. In our ignorance, we forget that it is not all about us, and not all for us. In our indifference, we become almost complicit to the injustices in our society. By 'minding our own business', we are in effect depriving a lot of people of an opportunity to live an abundant life.

Of all people, we have our ultimate role model, the best example we can follow, Jesus Christ. He taught the truth, he declared the truth, he exposed the lies and hypocrisy, and he not only spoke, he acted on his words too.

It is not enough to be nice. Every one can be nice just to feel good and settle their conscience. Sometimes its harder to speak up because it involves trashing that facade of feigned niceness. Sometimes for the sake of justice, for the sake of speaking for someone who cannot speak for himself, we have to throw away the niceties and embrace the cold, hard truth.

So let's.

Carpe diem,

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