One fellow of old wrote, “Consider it pure joy when you face various trials and temptations.”
This statement has been puzzling me for good two decades. I personally have yet to see someone who likes troubles. No, I am not talking about a fool who brings troubles on his head. I have in mind everyday men and women who live through rain and sun, storm and fun.
What keeps people going when there is nothing to hang on to? What’s the value of it?
As crazy as it sounds, the end of all troubles, the ones that do not destroy or kill, brings forth positive growth. With the right attitude and with the help of trusted, caring friend (that includes pets), one will inevitably grow in knowledge, understanding, wisdom, resilience, patience, and the ability to tackle similar problems easier and faster, coming out of it with a stronger spine and a steadfast heart.
Look at many great characters throughout history: Helen Keller, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi. Search your surroundings, recall memories. Learn from those who prevailed. You will find examples to follow.
Allow me to share one particular problem: the kiss of Judas, or backstabbing. I’ve had plenty of it in the past and have it at the moment, but what changed is this: It does not take forever to get out of it. There is an almost universal way out: Become a brother’s keeper of your backstabber. Let him (or her) know that you are not Abel waiting to be slain by Cain, but that you will watch your back. Assure him you will always be there for him if he changes his ways.
There is a red line, though, a reprobate mind — twisted, insidious, denying, lying, manipulating, with backstabbing prepared two steps ahead at all times. Stay away from those. In this case there is nothing you can do. When you hit a snag, that’s one thing. When you run into a reprobate mind, that’s a dead end.
If blatant lies become, “I was not in my right mind,” and that is repeated time and time again, leave that person to his own devices. Correct a fool and he will hate you. Correct a wise man and he will appreciate you.
When communicating with people of influence, one crucial difference emerged: When those with perverted minds wring innocent necks, it is always “for your own good,” while the opposite is actually true.
When men/women of integrity say, “We will wring your neck,” it always aims at righting the wrong, to turn the erring one from his troublesome ways, to restore conscience, decency and humanity — freeing people versus enslaving them, showing the difference between truth and deceit. Our weapons are neither guns nor fists but truth, honesty and concern for our neighbours with sincere hearts.
Fellow valley residents, you might have run into officials, lawyers, politicians, bureaucrats, dealers, the “culture of entitlement” crowd, relatives, you name it, and wondered what in the world is going on, your brain frozen in unbelief. Observe, think and decide. Take the best action possible.
Do not go for a kiss of Judas Iscariot with Judas turning into Pontius Pilate washing his hands, claiming it was all right all along and that he was only an innocent party 15 to 50 times in a row.
For those caught in the web of doing what’s against your conscience, there is a way out. You do have a choice. A small voice inside you will tell you and lead you out of the mess.
There are people around you willing to become your trusted brother’s keepers. Reach out. Your brother’s keepers will extend their hands to you.
Vladimir Certik believes that thinking outside the box and engaging fellow citizens may bring simple solutions to complex problems. The West Creston resident can be reached at 250-402-0055.