How Do You Pick Your Heros?
My wife has a favorite trading concept that she often shares with
people who are critical of school teachers. She believes that many
of our problems with education would be solved if every mother and father
were required to be teachers for a month BEFORE they have children. It
is the very same concept that is capsulized in the challenge to "...walk
a mile in my shoes..." before jumping to the conclusions of how easy
or hard the walk might be. Children often play around by stepping
into their father's shoes and comparing their feet to their father. Teachers
are counted in this corner as members of the HERO class.
In our society it seems like the people who are admired
and have become the heroes are often people who possess great looks,
wealth, or power. It
would be interesting to take a poll of Americans and ask them what their
dream world would look like if they could walk in someone else's shoes. It
would likely include many who would choose to have so much money they
wouldn't have to work, and could shop, travel, and play at any and all
things. In my career as a financial advisor, I observed this latter
phenominon where people inherited huge sums of money or won the lottery
and had this "dream" world in their hands.
Years later, I can
also confirm that few people handled those situations well, but
most ended up with more frustrations and broken relationships than those
who found happiness. Others dream of power or position of influence so
that the world always wants to know what you think. False dreams
can be worse than no dreams at all and when we place
our sights on the false promises of this world, we will always be disappointed.
This week, as I have read and re-considered the life
of the Reverend Jerry Falwell, it brings to mind a man who did not
follow after false dreams and riches. If you are like me, he would make statements
that I did not always agree with and often he would be criticized in
the mass media. But one thing he never did was shy away from controversy
and from dealing with the difficult questions that Christians must wrestle
with in their walk of faith. Some of his answers even made me cringe
as his conclusions about issues differed from mine.
to bring issues of faith openly to the public square and back
his beliefs with actions toward both the poor and needy in his community
set him apart. His legacy brought schools and colleges
into being that could also wrestle with the issues of faith and society. He
was a giant of a man and I don't think many people could fit into
the shoes who wore. He defended our faith in the light of
public scrutiny and criticism and more often than not, he did it
well. He is one of my heroes. I trust that the good
things this man accomplished will not be overshadowed by his mistakes.
Sent May 21,
Dwight Short if you would like to receive future
Monday Morning Messages.
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