The Challenge of Standing Up

We’ve all heard horrible stories of tragedies which could have been prevented by countless bystanders but weren’t.  How observers tend to assume that someone else will step in to help or stand up to defend the victim.

And how, because everyone expects someone else to do it, no one does.

And we all know, deep down, that this tendency is dangerous and damaging.  I think we all want to be the one to defy it, to stand up, to save the day.  Still, the drive to preserve ourselves so often overrides our desire to help others.

It’s so easy to help those in need when those around us are also committed to help.  Once one person steps in, others follow.  When the need is longstanding and pervasive, when it fits into our ideals about cultural values and our duty to the helpless, we’re all to eager to create movements and organizations, to donate time and money, to stand together to do good.

But when it’s one person?  When no one around us is stepping up to help?  When some are convinced that they should not be helping?

When it’s not easy, but we know it’s right?

Now is a time when it’s more crucial than ever for us to commit to being that first person to stand up.  To be that person who risks standing alone beside a person who needs an ally.  To do what’s right even when it’s not easy.

In the theme of spirituality being the source of a moral code, what does it say about our prevailing spiritual paths if the emphasis is not placed squarely on standing up for what you know is right even if those around you don’t see it?

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