Today’s church sermon was titled Ruthless Goodness. Sounds like a contradiction.
Goodness – morally good or virtuous. Being kind. Ruthless – lacking compassion or pity. Do whatever it takes.
How we approach life depends on our scruples. Our values. What we believe. They are imprinted in our psyche at a young age. We're told we can change, and having an early reference for both is helpful.
During WWII there was a prisoner of war camp close to our home. When the men were outside; passersby would shout scornful words and threats at them. Our mother cautioned: Do not let me ever see you doing that. Each of those boys is some mother’s son. She taught ruthless goodness. We failed many of the lessons; but some important ones stuck.
Our minister recalled the Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson story. What can happen when one person ignores the abusive masses, and follows his or her scruples? We know the end to the Robinson-Reese story. Or how the continuing story began.
Scruples derives from the Latin word scrupulus (Latin spelling) a small sharp stone. We know a sharp stone is abrasive. Especially if the stone is in our shoe. We ask is the stone the real cause of our discomfort? Or do we perceive what we are planning is morally wrong? Is it a reminder to step tenderly? To walk lightly? To listen to our gut - our second brain, and where scruples are formed.
Today we think of scruples as a moral compass. We need them at every junction in life. They force us to question intended actions. Think of the potential effects. Reverse if we need to. Go ahead if they give us the all-clear.
Scruples. Something to think about.
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