“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” That is a quote often attributed to Edmund Burke who was a member of the House of Commons of Great Britain in the 1700s. The onslaught of evil that pervades our nightly news in the forms of terrorism that is perpetuating murder in the name of ideology and religion, is increasing exponentially. We quickly concentrate on the groups or nations that propagate such hatred as the sole problem but I believe there is another factor that is ignored. When moral principled people who we label as good people, become weak and passive, inadvertently permit this evil to encroach on a defenseless humanity.
Nations of the world who have the capability to stand and yet do little to nothing about these evils are in essence allowing it. An example would be a woman being raped in an alley screaming for help and I walk by thinking this is none of my business and do nothing – I have permitted evil to triumph. Someone may say “it isn’t any of your business and you may get hurt in the intervention.” Yet, it is my business, because if I love my neighbor as myself, or treat others as I want to be treated, then what if I was in her shoes? Wouldn’t I want someone to help me? We are our brother’s keeper and we make up the human family and the hurting is not to be ignored, nor should we justify our lack of action by some excuse birthed out of our selfishness.
Helping others sometimes requires our hands to get dirty and we become a little messy in the process. However, seeing the end result of people being liberated from tyranny, brutality, murder, and oppression, is certainly worth it! What value do we place on a human life? Is it worth financial sacrifice, the risk of others to save them, the spending of time and resources? Is a human life worth something only if it doesn’t cost us our convenience? Years from now when our current era is history, I don’t want it recorded that we did nothing to stop the evils of this world. Instead, may it be said, they arose to the occasion and established the peace we are enjoying now, because they fearlessly protected the innocent and maintained justice and equality.
If we stand around and do nothing, then are we really good people? Or, are we good, but not convicted enough by what we say we believe to catapult us into action.
Leadership has the golden opportunity to establish a legacy like never before. The world is going dark but if leadership rises on principle driven by a value for human life, the light will shine again. Someone(s) who will not base decisions on political gaming, selfish ambition, and personal grandeur, but selflessly doing right because it is simply right. If that is you – please stand up! The world is waiting to follow.