From Caring Comes Courage.

For those concerned about the political process I offer you good news, things are going to get better because my 10 year-old Grandson Eli has entered politics.
Eli’s elementary school goes through the fifth grade. Never in the history of the school had a fourth grader ran for president, but Eli did last year and narrowly lost.
This year he ran a winning campaign. He realized the kids wanted more recreational equipment. His winning speech included the line “I’ve already talked with Mr. Jonathan Grimm, manager of the Burbank Jamba Juice, And if I am elected he will do a fundraiser that will allow us to buy ALL the equipment we need…” With this pork barrel speech he won by a landslide.
I actually liked his losing speech from the previous year. It ended with this line: “In the words of Lao Tzu, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,’ Let the journey begin.”*
I like to think Eli’s fourth grade campaign was motivated by the fact that he cared… Because Lao Tzu also said, “From caring comes courage.”
If you ask me on this veteran’s day weekend,  “What is the essential virtue?”  I would say it is courage. I am in good company in saying this. Aristotle said, Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality, which guarantees the others. C. S. Lewis said, Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
If you ask, “what is the virtue most lacking among us today?” I would also say it is courage.
I say this because our individual and institutional life are too often marked by  Fear of failure and conformity. Today’s political correctness is exactly what French Philosopher Albert Camus warned us of when he said, “Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.” George Bernard Shaw described today’s conformist so well, “A man of great common sense and good taste –Meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage!”
Sadly a lack of courage is sometimes pervasive among Christians and our churches and often with grave consequences.
Martin Niemöller, a Lutheran Pastor who early on failed to stand up to Nazism in Germany said,  “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Our heritage as Christians is one of courage. You see this in the disciples after Pentecost when the common, ordinary unschooled upstarts, Peter and John stood before the Sanhedrin, the bureaucratic, elite power brokers of 1st century Judaism.
Peter and John’s outrageous courage prompted two questions: First, “By what power or what name did you do this?” (ACTS 3:7, in the Message it is put this way, “”Who put you in charge here? What business do you have doing this?”) Second, “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. (Acts 3:
So my prayer today is, Oh God, I pray that I might think, speak and act in such a way that people would ask the source of my power, and that they might be constantly wondering what in the heck they are going to do with me?”
*(I love that the line originated from Eli’s own thinking, his parents had no hand in the speech, he found the quote online!)

Posted in Staublog in November 10, 2012 by | 1 Comment »

One Response to From Caring Comes Courage.

  1. ST111012 | Dick Staub on November 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

    […] “From caring comes courage.” Lao Tzu. For those concerned about the political process I offer you good news, things are going to get better because my 10 year-old Grandson Eli has entered politics. Read More. […]

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