It is sometimes thought that men are constantly choosing between the right and wrong things in life. While this is most commonly that case, there sometimes arises that situation where there appears to be only one choice. Well, then what is the case? If it is an evil path, does that make the traveler evil? Or if it is the noble way to go is the decider inherently virtuous?
I believe that there are some people who honestly do not know any way but one. Perhaps they have not been taught an opposing side or they have never come across it in there life. When this is the case, they can not be seen as choosing their way. If a person has grown up with a family who has always followed a certain path and was never told that there are other options, they are not choosing between good or evil; they are following what they know.
We look around our country right now and see thousands of examples of this very thought. The virus that is plaguing our country is not the current generations doing. It has come from decades of un-education in generations of Americans. The “blame” is so far back that is is very hard to pinpoint exactly where it started. People today are simply following what they know. Their parents, and their parents’ parents years back, have only presented them one way to live and act. They honestly do not know any better. So they are not “choosing” the wrong thing if they are not seeing any options.
This is where people start to get heated, however. Many argue that they are still making that choice no matter what because the good path is always there. And while this is technically true, just because a path is there doesn’t mean they can see it. And usually, they haven’t even been taught how to look for it.
We must be their guiding light. It is our job, those of us that can see the good way to do things, to show them that they have other options. We must educate them, teach them the difference between right and wrong, the true difference. If you are able to consciences make the decision to do good each and every day, you have been given the gift of the truth. Now it is up to you to share it.
But be careful. Often times, there are people who only see one choice in their life, and it happens to be the good one. Perhaps you were raised in a very virtuous family and were blessed to have the righteous path laid out very clear. You still need to pay attention. As Plutarch wrote, “Virtue, like finest brass, by use grows bright.” If you have been blessed with an inclination towards virtue, you must still make the best of it. Strengthen it like any other muscle. Not acting on the best instincts makes them useless.
People are quick to judge the others around them. They see people’s actions and have no consideration to the process behind them. We must always be open to the possibility that others have not been shown the truth. Because many have not. But if we always meet these people with disapproval and contempt, no one will ever want to hear what we have to say. Keep this in mind every time you try to speak the good word to those around you.