- the act of self-control with your actions and your words
“I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
For the Parent::Battle Cry
Today’s Focus Point is going to be a little different. With Temperance being our core value this month, we couldn’t think of a more fitting subject to discuss than the topic of civil disobedience. Now everyone knows (or at least they should) about Martin Luther King’s then-revolutionary idea that all people are equal and should be considered equal under the law regardless of race or ethnicity. But we want to dig deeper.
At the very core of Martin Luther King’s legacy, was his belief that people should have a higher moral calling than the law itself. As a preacher, he would’ve told you that his own moral code came in the form of the scriptures and in the form of a God-given conscience. While the law may determine what is legal, it isn’t always a barometer for what is right. While the law may determine what is legal, it isn’t always a barometer for what is right. As Aristotle put it over 2300 years ago, “It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen”.
It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen – Aristotle
The purpose of the lesson below isn’t necessarily to encourage your Warrior Poet to join the next revolution that comes along, however it is vital for them to have a moral code and to hold unswervingly to it. No matter what.
For Your Son::Call to Arms
Has anyone ever told you to do something that you knew was wrong? How did you respond? Sometimes the line between what is right and wrong can get a little fuzzy, especially when someone in authority tells you to do something wrong or encourages bad behavior. There will always be authority figures in your life, even after you’re an adult. Whether it’s a teacher, a coach, a professor or your boss, there will always be someone making the rules. The key to standing firm is having a personal code of right and wrong that goes far above and beyond the rules set by those in authority.
Holding yourself to such a high standard can sometimes get you into trouble – and that’s exactly what happened in the 1960s. Back then, people in the government thought that it was okay to treat people differently simply because of the color of their skin. They made terrible laws saying that certain places like restaurants, buses, bathrooms or other buildings were off-limits to people who weren’t white; treating those people like second-class human beings. Well, Martin Luther King (and many others) believed that all people were created equal, and understood that these laws were wrong and unfair. Not only did they protest against these unfair laws, in many instances they broke these laws on purpose. Martin Luther King was even sent to jail for it! He knew he would be punished, but he accepted the punishment because he knew he was doing the right thing. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but the Warrior Poet does it anyway. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but the Warrior Poet does it anyway. Because all it takes for evil to succeed, is for good men to do nothing! All it takes for evil to succeed, is for good men to do nothing!
For this weekend, sit down with your Warrior Poet and help him develop and jot down his own personal code. Some good starting suggestions may be things like, “Always treating others like I’d like to be treated”, “Always keeping my word” or “Telling the truth, even when it’s not easy.” Feel free to let us know what they come up with!