The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
– G. K. Chesterton
“Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?”
Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ All the law and the writings of the prophets depend on these two commands.”
In today’s increasingly intelligence-biased culture, more and more people take stock in whatever the next greatest invention or innovation is. There is a great influx of people who continue to get smarter, who continue to believe that the best thing to do in life is to learn more, know more, and prove to other people that they know better.
What happened to us? We have “advanced” faster in the last 10-20 years than what was seen in the last 100 years, and yet there seems to be bigger and bigger problems than ever before. Seemingly in our quest for the advancement of humanity, we in turn have slowly been losing our humanity. We have forgotten the most basic commandment of all. It’s not about what we’re able to accrue in this life that we’re living. The better question is, for what did we accrue these things?
A lot of people tend to surmise, “If doing things for other people is the way to go, then why don’t I get recognized when I do it?” Why is it that it seems to be that this is the path of least returns? Why continue? Loren Eiseley wrote an interesting story about this scenario.
A man walking on the beach saw a child reaching down to pick up small objects and then throwing them into the ocean. He called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The child looked up and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” To this, the child replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the man commented, “But do you not realize that there are thousands of starfish? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
At this, the child bent down, picked up a starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “IT MADE A DIFFERENCE FOR THAT ONE.”
Don’t lose faith. Don’t lose courage. There is good work to be done.