Friday, March 13, 2009

Refuse to become corrupt...

I was driving last week, and in my quest to come up with original and relevant facebook status updates I came up with:
"Tim Pearson Refuse to become's an active process, to be passive is to be corrupted."
Okay, it wasn't truly facebook that influenced me, but my overactive idealistic mind that wonders why we don't do the right things even when we know they are the right things to do. I call it sin nature, you may call it human nature, but the point is WE ALL DO IT. We are self destructive as a community when we aren't actively working against our individual selfishness, and it's our selfishness that craves the things that destroy us as a group, or destroys another group for our own comfort to benefit 'our' group.
Uh oh...let me try to scramble so I can unpack this. Last sunday's sermon, I'm sure it was excellent but, my memory only allows for one tidbit to stick...the one thing that stood out for me was an illustration of the community that fights tooth and nail to avoid having power lines go near thier neighborhood. They get lawyers, experts, sheer numbers of neighbors to protest how this will bring down property values, create health risks, provide a place for people to throw shoes onto the wires (whatever reason they can come up with). And finally the county caves, decides not to put them there...only to divert the lines through a poorer, less organized neighborhood.
There is the saying that kaka rolls downhill, but it's more than that. Our actions affect more than just those directly around us. And now your saying, "I thought this was about corruption". There are two types of corruption, corruption of comission, and corruption of omission. Comission is actively doing something you shouldn't, omission is not doing something when you should.
How often do we want to do something that is 'good', but then, as soon as it becomes just the slightest bit inconvenient, the idea falls to the wayside? We have a glimmer of wanting to help with the Big Brother Big Sister program, Habitat for Humanity, or sponsor a child through Compassion International, and then the thoughts of cost and commitment come in and we wind up ignoring the tugging on our heart.
We are corrupt in every part of our being. We're like a garden, when it is left unattended, the good things become overgrown and ugly, and the bad things flourish and choke out any new growth. Without constant weeding, pruning, nurturing, tilling, etc. our lives won't bear any fruit.
We can live for ourselves, but it will always be at the expense of another. Our only defense is to constantly be in a state of readiness against our propensity for corruption...or we can get drunk and watch a lot of T.V. eating Twinkies until we die, never thinking twice about the human race as a whole.
**These rambling thoughts have been brought to you by: Cuban Coffee, stimulating the mind for hundreds of years.**


Kristen said...

"There are two types of corruption, corruption of comission, and corruption of omission. Comission is actively doing something you shouldn't, omission is not doing something when you should."

well said!!

Tim and Jen Pearson said...

Wow!! You never cease to surprise me. Loving you more and more with each new day. Aren't you proud of me for reading our blog ;)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps corruption occurs not from comission or omission but from neglecting to consider opposing options. If the "right" options are doing to best for the most and hurting the fewest, then you have to take the time and make the effort to learn all you can with an open mind. If you don't, that's corruption. There's also judicious choice for your own actions. You can't help if you're not in a position to help...e.g. you don't have money, you don't have time or you don't have the will. You can't fix everything at once and you can't fix anything if you don't have a secure physical, financial and philosophical base from which to do it...IMHO

Tim and Jen Pearson said...

" can't fix anything if you don't have a secure physical, financial and philosophical base from which to do it."

AND THIS IS AT THE ROOT OF AMERICAN help others requires sacrifice, and as Americans we tend to help only when we give out of our excess and can maintain our 'comfort'. We will help when it doesn't inconvenience us. We're full of good intentions, but when it comes to action and giving up our time, energy, emotions...we check out.

Getting back to your point, in general we're not in a physical or financial place to help becuase we're too busy working at a job we hate to pay for things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people that we don't like.

Case in point, everyone seems to have purchased a home that is bigger than they need for a price that is more than they can afford (given that most say you should only pay 30% of your income to your home). Living on credit has become a HUGE problem as we have enslaved ourselves to our lenders.

I'll leave it there so as not to create a whole new post on the comments!


Tim and Jen Pearson said...

"Perhaps corruption occurs ... from neglecting to consider opposing options."

Corruption is enabled to occur when there is unchecked power and no regulation. Thus there isn't any opportunity for opposing opinions to take part in policy, nor accountability in having to explain reasons for actions taken before they are implemented.

Take the mortgage crisis for example, Wall Street took over the mortgage game when Freddie and Fannie stopped being the responsible trend setters allowing loans to be made without documentation. Greed ruled without boundaries. Every single person from the CEOs buying and selling the mortgage backed securities down to the unemployed convict who was being approved for a loan without documented income knew at least that something was not 'right'...but money was flowing and everyone turned a blind eye so long as checks were being written. Greed ruled, some got rich, others got buried.

Now, even with the new administration of 'change', those with power are advancing their agenda without regard to outside voices. One only needs to look as far as the bailout package that was forced through without discourse and debate. I'm not taking a side, but it was evident that it was not a collaborative effort. We've lost sight of our founding father's vision of democracy and turned it into two groups pushing and pulling policy to cater to their agenda...not voices of reason 'checking and balancing' the other toward a better America and a healthier world.

It's frustrating.