Trying to change the world has alway been a tough a job. Unfortunately, sometimes not so much because of the usual difficulties with the folks you’re trying to change, but sometimes, also due to those the great world changers have been trying to do it with…those friends and colleagues, “brothers in arms” who unfortunately don’t always come across as very supportive at times, and make one wonder at times whose side they’re really on.
They may be sitting at the very top of the Committee for World Improvement, but they only wound up there due to some more or less fortunate circumstance (depending on whose view), and can often be quite jealous of the little folks at the grass roots who are really ‘doin’ it,’ and they’ll try all in their power to make sure that whatever is going to happen is going to happen over them, and not without their permission and approval, or they might even make it mighty difficult for you.
They don’t care so much about the common cause or the job getting done as they do that it’s done their way, and that they get a big share of the glory in the accomplishment. “Remember, you couldn’t have done it without me!” Whereas the true believers don’t care who gets the glory, as long as the job gets done, the help arrives where and when it should, and the world is being changed – save the credits for later.
A classic example of this perpetual dilemma is seen in the movie “Molokai,” which tells the sad story of the catholic church’s betrayal of one of their own saints, “leper priest” Father Damien, whose greatest cross on earth to carry was not the burden of the leprosy around him he was trying to alleviate, nor even the leprosy in his own body he contracted consequently, but the lack of love, honor and true righteousness among his own brethren and superiors.
But it happens in nearly every group, no matter how “different” they were when they started out. Even the formerly persecuted, being so assured of the exclusive rightness of their cause can become blind to the possibility that they may actually become guilty of the same sin that was once committed against them, and so we see before us a history unfold of martyrs moving to the grandstands making new martyrs over and over and over again.
Yesterday’s Davids are today’s Sauls and may even become tomorrow’s Goliaths, waiting to collapse under their own weight, slain by an insignificant lad they would have never stopped to give the time of day.
What’s the only thing we learn from history? That we never learn anything from history. And never before has there been such a large amount of ignorant people thinking they knew so much as today.
What can one do about it? Give up? Fold in? Surrender to the Enemy? “Let the Devil take tomorrow,” as Kris Kristofferson sang? No way! Sometimes one is tempted to feel like that, but as for me, I feel rather inclined to agree with John Paul Jones’ famous statement, “Surrender? Hell, no! We haven’t even yet begun to fight!”