A friend forwarded me this most interesting article on the clearly increasing participation in street protests in the UK and around the world. Old ‘Anonymous’ is rising up and increasing it would appear.
It reminded me of ‘occupy Vancouver’ way back in 2011.
And it reminded me of other things from my youth that I joined in to protest.
Most of the folks behind these movements are quite fired up about their causes. Many of them are worthwhile. I would like to participate in 93.6% of the battles that I see. I have even started collecting some of the conspiracies that I find and tend to agree with or am interested in.
But, something happened when I passed the age of thirty five and I looked at my life. I have two daughters, a wife, a guinea pig, a wood burning fireplace and 91% of my hair is grey and I go to bed at 9:30pm. All of these things are exciting and good, but they also represent the crux of the matter: time is flying and I can’t stop it.
And if time is flying and I can’t stop it, then I also must learn to laser focus my life to achieve the most important things first.
And that, my friends, necessitates deciding what are the most important things to me.
And once those line items are written on the invoice, I must then select the ones that are most likely something I can do something about directly, and which ones will have the most impact for the amount of time, money and energy invested.
I must find my one or maybe two things that I can personally stand behind and do.
So when I see these protests, I think to myself “Is there a better way?” But I also note that I am not present there and I’m saying that as an observer. Perhaps being there is better than not being there.
I heard the term ‘slacktivism’ the other day. Nice. How many times have I been guilty of slacktivism? I don’t want to look up the actual definition because I assume it means ‘sitting on the sidelines yelling about a cause but not doing anything’. No more of that for me.
For the next year, I’m going to hone in on the one or two things that I can personally involve myself in that will make a lasting and positive difference in our country.
If something unfair, unjust, or evil happens, should we simply pray for the power to forgive the evildoer or should we take action against the evil? This is the question I was in sudden need of exploring after a friend of mine called into question the motives behind where I was spending some of my time and whether or not the work I am doing is worth it. His comment was, “The Bible says to forgive and move on. God will take care of them.”
The Bible says to forgive and move on. God will take care of them.
I am in a law suit against a group of people I believe operate their business in a very wrong way that violates ethics and morals and that has direct and negative impact on the people we know and the communities we live in. I have see the results of their style of business which includes, but is not limited to: depression, anxiety, broken families and shattered marriages, extreme financial hardship, increase in suicidal language, hopelessness, anger, fear and more. No one would every associate these kind of results with the chain that is causing them. After experiencing enough of the pain myself, and discovering that I was not alone in this unneeded suffering, I decided it was right to take visible and public action against it. The comment from my friend made me stop in my tracks and check myself to make sure I was at peace with my direction.
During my personal quiet time today, I came across this article in a Catholic publication about non-violence which is a must read. This quote in particular jumped out at me:
Nonviolence is directed “against forces of evil rather than against persons who happen to be doing the evil. It is evil that the nonviolent resister seeks to defeat, not the persons victimized by evil.”
It is true that I am not doing a rally, or a march or a boycott, although we most certainly entertained the idea. By doing this, we would damage the franchisees of the brand during the process who are already suffering enough.
Filing a lawsuit is the next best non-violent option in an attempt to bring about justice and expose wrong-doings. A lawsuit, if picked up by the media, will shed light on darkness and bring about enough potential damage on the wrongdoer that they may be forced to look at their ways and hopefully even change them. Everyone knows that a plaintiff in a lawsuit, if they even get their legal fees back, has succeeded and that oftentimes the lawyers are the ones who end up with the payout. For this reason there must accompany every lawsuit a purpose that supercedes the cut-and-dry black-and-white letter of the filing. There must exist, with every lawsuit, a desire to see injustice resolved – not just for the plaintiff but for every person who follows.
There must exist, with every lawsuit, a desire to see injustice resolved – not just for the plaintiff but for every person who follows.
The courts have one very useful feature built into them: once the documents have been filed, they become part of the public record and can be discussed freely in public without fear of being sued for saying something personal. This one key feature is the reason why I am encouraged to carry on and spend my time on this. I hope that one day someone will come across this document, read the details, and steer clear of the path of destruction that my family and I were forced to walk.
The crux of the matter is this: your ‘why’ that powers the battle must be based on good intentions for others, not ill will for the wrong-doer.
I hope that the people who have wronged us and others change. I most genuinely hope that they fall to their knees and meet Jesus. All things are possible. Jesus died for them as much as He did for me. It actually intrigues me to no end when I think of what their lives and business would look like if they were dedicated to serving God. I hope that through this lawsuit that all parties experience an amazing personal spiritual revolution and revival. But that is up to them and God. Not even God Himself will force them to their knees – yet.
So, between now and then, I believe that I am called to action. It’s a kind of ‘mission’ if you will. I feel that I am well suited to participate in the process of bringing this to resolution – and one that will bring lasting positive change to the community where I live.
But what about my friend’s comment about what the Bible says? Interestingly, it doesn’t have much at all on the direct topic of courts and faith. It has a clear scripture that Christians are not to sue other Christians, it also shows that the courts exist to deal with the matters of this life, but it doesn’t give much if any teaching on this. But I’m not concerned because the deeper issues are always those of motivation and heart condition. With any issue in this life like, whether to sue someone, whether to buy a business, whether to get married, whether to accept a job in another country, etc, etc, are all matters of motivation and heart condition. Instead of asking myself whether or not I should be suing these people, I ask myself these questions daily:
- Am I at peace, or am I fighting against God’s will here?
- Am I doing this out of vengeance or to bring about justice?
- Will others stand to gain from this or just me (is this selfish or otherwise)?
- What is the ROI on my time? Is it worth it?
- and so on
I have perfect peace that I am doing the right thing. Even though I have spent a lot of time on this process, I have learned innumerable useful life skills and have become a consultant to quite a few people already to whom I can pay it forward. I am fully confident I am on the right path and I sleep like a baby every night. Much better than before the lawsuit was started, in fact. Furthermore, since starting the lawsuit, I have made many new friends I would not have otherwise met.
So check your heart.
And fight for justice wherever you can in your sphere of influence.
Satan wins when you stand around and do nothing about evil.