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Following our Conscience

Today is a National Day of Service in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   Rev. King, among other things, preached about the necessity of men having a common purpose and a respect for one another.  He spoke about the dangers of hatred and how hatred can destroy mankind.  He preached about man’s choice and our free will.  King said, “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 it is right.” 

Following our conscience and doing what is right can be a challenge.  We seemed to be programed to find faults in ourselves and in others.  A few weeks ago, Newt Gingrich called on his fellow Republican candidates to ‘run positive campaigns.’  I thought to myself, “Argue on issues and leave the attacks on other candidates aside.  This can be a good thing for our country.”  Then Gingrich called Mitt Romney a liar and started spending millions on negative ad attacking the Republican frontrunner. 

In American politics, candidates spend so much time blaming ‘the other side’ and arguing why ideas can’t work or are wrong that they forget to serve the greater good.  Newt Gingrich, rather than building on the ideas of other candidates, instead chose to advance his own personal desire to be President.  The fastest way to do this is by attacking the other candidates.  Iit is easier for Newt to point a finger and denounce others’ ideas than it is for him to articulate his own.  Any why is this the case?  As soon as Newt starts talking about his ideas on how to fix the economy or anything else for that matter, one of the other candidates will be quick to step in and explain why all of Newt’s ideas can’t work.  And so the negative cycle will continue because it is inspired by personal agendas of power and position rather than an agenda of doing what is right for all people. 

Rev. King's message of service, common purpose, and respect for one another is a good one to learn.  His messages are rooted in the ideal of ensuring all people had equal access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  It really is a simple message to say and understand.  Doing it, though.  Well, that’s a whole different story.  Let me tell you all the reasons why it can’t happen….

Here’s to hoping the message of Dr. King is remembered and put in to action, not just on today's National Day of Service, but tomorrow and the next day, too.