“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing” (Burke but inclusive language)
I am reasonably conflict adverse , therefore this quotation is sometimes difficult to not be complicit with. When I do confront people or situations it sometimes comes across blunt and unskilled. This is partly a reflection of my personality and not developing the opposite of my preference for harmony. Today in the park a father was screaming at his child (about 6) for about a full five minutes of the time we were near them. It was possibly the most abusive I have ever personally seen and heard an adult to a child. My response and reaction was tempered by over hearing the father say “how dare you slap your mother around the face”. I am not saying the way he reacted was appropriate or proportional , but there was a context and who knows what other history there was.
Even in my reflection a couple of hours later, I am not sure if I had a duty, a responsibility to do or say anything or not. The reading at church this morning (Matthew 18.15-20) was where we are instructed in how to deal with a concern: speak directly 1-1 with the person, then take one or two other people if it is not resolved and if still not bring it before the local christian community. I have to say I have rarely seen this done well if it has gone beyond the initial 1-1 and perhaps too often it never gets to the 1-1 as so many of us tend to be a bit conflict adverse and we either start avoiding someone or perhaps someone leaves the church or organization because of the reaction they are picking up when no one has had the courtesy to take them aside and raise an issue which they are unaware of and correspondingly people may leave the church or organization without telling those of us in leadership what the issue is.
The picture is from the 9.11 museum…