Some believe it’s important, even required, to have someone standing beside you before doing the right thing. It is as if what one does doesn’t matter. Even in public, if nobody else is standing up for __________ (you can fill in the blank from your experience) then why should I? The logic is simple. When it isn’t popular, I won’t stand. Should it be controversial, I’ll stay quiet. If a crowd isn’t behind it, I’ll stay in the background. Given everything I know, have read and experienced, I find it odd that justice, compassion, and love require a crowd. They didn’t yesterday, don’t today, and will not tomorrow.
A study was conducted on a series of London Underground Trains. The theme was one of kindness, consideration, and simple courtesy. The test subjects included a pregnant woman, an old woman, a young woman, and a couple of men looking for a seat on a crowded train. Nobody was willing to help a pregnant woman except someone who themselves needed help. At best the response was related to a less than subtle excuse to have a conversation and potentially get their telephone number.
One of the challenges with “them” and “us” is simple the loss of personal connection in doing what is right without support. In the corporate workplace few stand in defense of the innocent without clear backing of someone up the chain of command. Most of the time the “good guys” behave just like “Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, even then getting ready to betray him [Jesus], said, ‘Why wasn't this oil [gift] sold and the money given to the poor? It would have easily brought three hundred silver pieces.’” (John 12.4, 5) If the good guys don’t stand for what is right, who will?
Nobody was or is looking on the train. Rarely does anyone pay attention when a crowd approaches a doorway. Yet opportunities abound to reach out and share life along the journey. Simple smiles, a hand for one in need and a thank-you to those who help represent a new beginning.
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