Ignore what you hear on the news. Skip past what’s printed on page one of your paper. The world has much to be optimistic about. There are initiatives looking to tackle disease, poverty, literacy and you name it. The world is really headed in the right direction.
It is, however, far from perfect. There are still those who have malicious intent. There are those whose motives are anything but pure. And there are those who are misguided in both word and deed. As they maneuver, however, don’t sit idly by and accept it. As 19th century British philosopher, political economist, and civil servant John Stuart Mill warned:
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends than that good men should look on and do nothing.”
Don’t do nothing. Speak up. Notify someone. Organize a resistance. Take a stand. Be courageous. Confirm the situation. In short, do your part to make the world – even just your corner of it – a better place.
On June 10th, 2010, Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga was only two outs away from pitching the perfect game. This is one of the rarest of achievements in major league baseball – facing 27 batters and retiring 27 batters in the same game.
Unfortunately for Galarraga, the first-base umpire, Jim Joyce, made a mistake. He called a runner safe at first base when the replay clearly showed he was out. The perfect game was lost.
After the game, players and fans were outraged at Joyce. They demanded the umpire’s termination or suspension. Tensions were high.
Realizing he’d made an errant call Joyce made an uncharacteristic move. He went out of his way to find and apologize to Galarraga. In turn, the young pitcher made a public declaration of forgiveness. These gestures served to defuse the situation.
The lesson is simple. In time you’ll be wronged and in time you’ll do wrong. Always be open to contrition. And always be open to forgiveness.