Sunday, June 10, 2012

What are You Dying For?

I was listening to "Minute with Maxwell" a free email service by the leadership expert, John Maxwell. The word for the day was Warrior.  He said that a warrior is best defined as the character, William Wallace from 'Braveheart'. Wallace had a cause that he was so committed to that he was willing to die for it. In essence that is a warrior.

This analogy strikes a chord because it challenges us all to find purpose in life and to find something that we believe in so much that it is worth dying for. 

But here's my problem with this idea.
Aren't we dying already?  Every day we are inching closer to the end of our lives. 

So I would like to phrase this question a little bit differently. Instead of saying what are you willing to die for? The question should be... 

What are you dying for today?

Every day you're building your legacy. You will be remembered most for what you actually died for everyday. The problem is that most of us sadly are dying for things that only benefit ourselves while we're here on earth for a short period of time. We make decisions that are comfortable and further preserve our quality of life.

But is this a noble cause? I guess it depends on what you consider a noble cause.  Here are some things that I think are noble causes worth dying for. 

1.  Your Family 
After all they are the closest people in your life. Shouldn't you strive every day to make decisions and take action that let them know they are the most important people in your life and that you exist to make a huge impact on their lives?

2.  Social Empowerment 
I prefer this term over term social justice because justice translates into equity. Empowerment means people take advantage of their equality and do something meaningful with it.  As educators we should strive to empower every student and colleague to make their lives mean something that benefits the greater good.

3. My Community and Country 
In these days of unhealthy political conflict, we must take a stand for the things that we believe in.  We must defend our Constitution, our rights as Americans and fight for those whose rights are being infringed upon.  But more importantly, we must embrace people whose beliefs differ from our own instead of vilifying them. That's what makes our country the best in the world. 

4.  My God 
I saved God for last for a reason.  In these days of systemic separation of Church and state, people are criticized for publicly displaying their faith.  We must never forget that the 1st 3 items that I mentioned above were endowed to us by our creator.  To be honest, I firmly believe that if we would put him first instead of last, our families would be better, social empowerment would be a non-issue and our country and community would not face the destructive forces that it faces on a daily basis.

The other reason that I must die for my God is because his Son died for me and my numerous sins. What an awesome sacrifice that is.  I will never fully comprehend the power of this gift, but it is one that I can fully accept because I accept Him into my heart.

So what are you dying for?

Are you dying for your comfort?  Are you silently preserving the status quo because the odds are too big?  The stakes too high?  The consequences too devastating?  Here's the deal.  You are dying.  You will die.  You can't avoid it, but you can confront the worldly issues and influences that kill others.  You can take a stand against negativity.  You can say loudly that the wrong must be righted.

William Wallace was a warrior because he was not swayed by earthly consequences.  His philosophy was simple.  "Every man dies, but not every man lives."  He is remembered because he lived his life.  He didn't succumb to the influence of man.  He lived because he died; therefore, we should all step away from our comfort zones and ask ourselves this question.  Are you truly dying for the most important things in this world?

1 comment:

  1. A good reflection on how to daily live our lives for something that ultimately and eternally matters. What are my "noble causes" that I am basing my legacy on? Thanks for sharing!