There’s a fine line between taking a stance for or against an action, and judging someone. It’s a line that has been blurred and eschewed over the past few decades to the point where they’re seen as one and the same. Taking a stance is seen as judging, and men – and women – that would otherwise stand up for what they believe to be just, honest, and true, sit quietly, fearing the backlash that would come if their thoughts were aired with the honesty and conviction in which they would have voiced them otherwise.
I try my best not to judge, but at times I do. For the most part I catch myself, sometimes too late, and regret it. What I don’t regret, ever, is taking a stance on something I believe to be true and right – something that I feel will help someone, no matter how hard it may be to hear at the time. And there’s a big difference. They have to be separated. Judging isn’t right, none of us have any right to judge another human being because each of us is incredibly imperfect.
Standing up for what you believe to be right is not only right, but needed. Don’t be the guy with his head in the clouds telling people how to live, but please be the friend who’s man enough to take your pal by the arm and set him straight. Be the man willing enough to take a stance while all others sit in silence. And be the man open-minded enough to admit it when you’re wrong, and rise to the challenge if you yourself are called out.
Have the courage to stand up for what’s right, but also stand against what’s wrong. You may stand alone, but standing alone on firm ground, unflinchingly, is largely what it means to be a true original.
Understanding vs. Ignoring
There’s good an bad in the world, to deny the existence of evil, to rationalize it, to excuse it, is to feed it.
Today, we feed it, partially by our insatiable desire to understand it, and the reasons for it when it’s acted out. We feel as bad for the sonofabitch who did the deed as we do the victim.
To understand is a good thing – a great thing. It helps prevent it in the future. But in certain cases we can go so far as to understand it so well, that it’s no longer wrong, rather, understandable.
I was a little worried about publishing this article, because I’m sure it’ll be taken the wrong way – and I’m at fault for that. But here’s how I can explain it best:
We’re creating too much grey in the world. It doesn’t do anyone any good to excuse an act – be it evil, or even laziness – or to look the other way. If you give someone an inch, they’ll take a foot. I’m that way, so are most. However, if I’m being an idiot, being lazy, or not being a good guy, and someone calls me out on it, someone takes a stance and sets me straight, I may fight it at first, but I’ll rise to the challenge.
We don’t have to rationalize everything. Some things just need to be stood against, sometimes there simply needs to be a line drawn down the middle instead of an attempt made to bring both sides together. Sometimes black and white, right and wrong, needs to be identified before we begin understanding… Sometimes.
Well, let’s take a stance today. Let’s create a simpler world where there is black and white, but little room for grey.
It’s wrong to cheat.
Whether we’re talking about business ethics, or marital ethics, cheating is wrong. It’s a black and white issue. Grey has no place in this argument. Yes, there are reasons for it, and in cases, we can understand it, and even approve of it. But no matter the reason, the fact is that it’s wrong.
We’ll talk about this later in the article with the help of Ronald Reagan.
In short, don’t be a coward. Don’t let that idea grow in your mind. Rid yourself of it right now. It’ll do your marriage, your life, your relationship no good. It’ll do your business, your heart, your development as a person no good. Have the courage to be faithful. Don’t be a coward.
It’s wrong to be lazy.
This gets my blood boiling. And it’s something I give in to every single day. It begins and ends with one, simple fact:
We have one life!
One chance. So many before us have died before they were ever able to truly experience their lives, and we’re going to ruin ours through laziness? I’m sure you’ve had a friend that has died, or a mother, a father, or a grandparent – I know I have, I’ve had one too many.
Every time I sit on my ass instead of working. Every time I let the Resistance win, I’m dishonoring their memory. I’m dishonoring them, I’m spitting in the face of how my parents raised me and the multitude of sacrifices they made to give me more than what I needed.
Laziness is wrong. That goes for me, you, those who play video games for hours upon hours everyday, failing to give the world whatever talent they’ve kept hidden. It goes for those who’d rather sleep than work. It goes for those who want what others have without doing anything to deserve it.
Laziness isn’t a right. You, I, nobody has the right to be lazy. We have the gift of being able to do whatever we want with our lives, so much as we give it our life in return.
Take a Stance is to Help Others Rise Up
Taking a stance doesn’t mean we’re looking down on anyone; it means the opposite. It means we’re lifting them up. We’re giving them an excuse to be better people. We’re giving ourselves an excuse to be better.