Faith Crisis

Should I blow the whistle?

You are obliged to take a stand against unfairness, but not indiscriminately. Vigilante justice is very risky business. Down that slippery slope, it’s extremely hard to tell where the real moral high ground lies.

Everyone wants to make the world a better place, and rid the world of evils. Who is doing the best job on that? And what is a better world?

The thing is, whenever you try to correct problems, what you end up with could be worse than what you had before. So, even in the cases where you don’t like what others do, it pays to have a little bit of healthy self-suspicion. It’s not a given that everything that you react negatively to is totally wrong — or that your reactions are perfectly right. “They” may not have hurt you as much as you hurt yourself with your own negative reactions.

This is not to suggest that you have no right to judge or object to anything. It simply tries to round out the picture by pointing out the obvious: When you get upset, it might be that you are over-defensive and over-sensitive for reasons that are related to spiritual shortcomings of your own. Remembering that helps you keep blame to a minimum — and blame threatens your peace more than anything else.

In any case, people in spiritual communities ought to think long and hard before they decide to take action that will create major change. They owe it to the world not to act as judge, jury, and executioner until they really know what the costs of their good works are, as well as the benefits. How many people will be actually hurt by these good deeds? How many people will be deprived of real good? Excellent questions to ask!