Political correctness has claimed another victim. So many of us recognize that as soon as someone says one thing a shade off (and sometimes more than a shade off), the news media jumps on its collective bandwagon and is screaming for that person’s head. Pretty soon, sure enough, the perpetrator becomes a persona non grata and often is fired, excoriated in the press or worse. Even though political correctness is vilified by many, it just keeps on rolling.
The latest person is Liam Neeson. Yesterday a news show on the radio was talking about him and it occurred to me that Mr. Neeson was very brave to come forward with his struggles. He is not brave because of what he did (many years ago by the way). He is brave for recognizing his fault, dealing with it, overcoming it and being honest about it.
Are we at fault for the way we grew up? Are we at fault for the ideas of the past? In some ways, yes because we inherited or learned from our parents, who learned from their parents, and on and on. However, we are most at fault if we let those ways continue. Mr. Neeson understood that his reaction was not proper. He understood with his mind, but he needed to bring the rest of his life into union with his understanding. He did that. He has already shown his disgust today for his actions in the past. What more do people want from him? Perhaps a pound of flesh?
Over the course of my working life, I have met people from all over the world on a constant basis. I have had so very many situations in my life in conjunction with many different ethnicities that brought out reactions that were not stellar. Every time it was only because of my reaction that I could see the false ideas or feelings that I had about that situation. Thank God for bringing those situations to me. The alternative would be to continue being blind to those areas of my life. Dealing with so many people and learning to love all kinds people has been the treasure of my life.
We all love the loving words of Jesus when he forgives us for what we have done. Why can we not be forgiving towards our brother? Do we have to punish people for opening up a conversation about racism that could help and enlighten many? There is latent racism in many of us, no matter what our race or ethnicity. We may never even be aware of it until God is kind enough to create a situation in our lives to raise it to the surface. Something happens and we react. God, in His infinite kindness, allowed that to happen so that we could see our reaction, recognize the problem, and deal with it. He let it happen so that we could change and get that out of our lives.
Should we condemn others because that process happened to them and they admitted it? Or should we learn from it and pray that we are also able to see our own faults when situations bring them out in the open?
Didn’t Jesus also say, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?” Jesus was without sin and yet he did not cast his stone. He could have. He chose to forgive.