I went to bed last night thinking how sad it is the way people go about fitting in with a crowd, often putting down others to do so. Popularity is a mighty strong enticement for our youth. We try to teach them to ‘be themselves’ and not copy the behavior of others.
As adults, do we follow the same advice? In our attempts to gain the favor of one group, do we feel we must offend someone else?
As youth, our influence on others is often limited, either by locale or by relative anonymity, but our adult influence is often greater than we realize.
It is probably safe to say that we all slip-up time to time by putting down others in order to fit in with a crowd, but do we take the time to rectify our actions? When we get caught, do we apologize? Do we do the very thing we ask our children to do? Or do we feel we are justified in our speech or actions more than our children are?
During an election, much will be said that will irritate others. Much will be said for the shear campaign value of it. This is, and has been, part of our political culture, but is there a line we cross when we move from putting down our opponent and instead put down our opponent’s followers, the very people we want to represent?
While Mitt Romney is the latest to be called out for this, by no means is he the first to attempt gaining favor of a smaller group of citizens by insulting a larger group. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I am going to conclude that if one of his children or grandchildren acted in a similar manner, he would require them to make amends. This is probably the greatest reason for my sadness today. For as a fellow Christian, especially as a fellow Mormon, and certainly as a fellow citizen, I recognize most of us make mistakes such as Romney’s, and most of us struggle to make amends.
The expectation of doing what is right should be an equal expectation placed on all of us, but sometimes I wonder if it is of greater importance for those with a greater audience to hold a higher standard of themselves than they might expect of others. Making mistakes is part of human nature, but amending one’s mistakes is somewhat divine. It shows greater character and a greater humility. It should not be seen as a weakness, while often it is labeled as such by detractors. But these same detractors are the ones who would require we gain their favor by insulting and offending in the first place.
So I went to bed last night feeling sad, but this morning I woke up with a song running through my head, a song that says, “I need a hero!” Maybe instead of counting the number of mistakes a person makes in their life, we should spend more time evaluating their reaction once they have made a mistake. For a hero is not a perfect person, but is rather a humble person willing to serve others and who attempts to make amends for their mistakes. For while they may often seem to fall short of our standards, they should never fall short of their standards without making amends.
Other YouTube versions of Holding Out For A Hero:
Tribute for Peace (this one chokes me up, but it is a must see)
If anyone can find a link to the Paramount VHS promo, the romantic one not the violent one, could you please share it with me.