It is almost too easy to stay and fight. Countries go to war, politicians fight dirty, and corporate agents stab each other in the back. The repetition is so frequent, common, and normative that most of us have come to accept the response as natural and normal. I am no different from anyone else. Justice must be served. The weak must be protected. Principles are defended or lost.
I know that there is a time and place for action. I understand that unless one defends others will mistakenly conclude that there is a weakness that can be exploited. I acknowledge the appropriate use of force is not always the last option. Having said this I cannot help but wonder if I turn to fighting far more easily and quickly than is really necessary. There are alternatives. Even Jesus, when he was confronted by false allegations didn’t always directly respond to his accusers. Sometimes he just “left the Judean countryside and went back to Galilee.” (John 4.3)
What would happen if one political party purely took the high road for an extended period of time? Imagine the scene if sports figures called their own fouls in addition to the referees. What would things be like if everyone in every situation acted with compassion no matter what the personal risk or cost might be?
I read a story of people getting into a fight just for the fun of fighting. What if they had focused as much energy on defending someone who was being exploited? I sat in horror as yet another dozen were killed in Palestine. The fighting has yet to end with even more fighting so why don’t both sides retreat and see what happens next?
Life is never that simple but on the other hand maybe it is. We have the opportunity to make a difference, if only in the circle of those we meet today. Every action, each activity is an opportunity for mercy and compassion. Seize today! Live in the moment! Strive to give away more than you take. Be alive.