The Courage of Conviction
We live in a society which has taken the position that it is easier when culture conforms to the loudest voice. The old adage is usually true that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and its almost always true in matters of politics. The people who speak the loudest will almost always, to some degree or another, get what they want. We so often sit back and wonder where the good people are. In the rare chance one comes along, too many people fail to follow their lead and help build strength and momentum able to withstand the opposition. We hear a lot that people ought to have the “courage of their convictions.” The reason so many don’t have this courage is simply because we seem to have failed to define the term. It’s almost as if no one really wants to know what it means or what it looks like for someone to demonstrate their courage, because after all, we would have someone then to compare ourselves to.
It takes no effort at all to walk along with the rest of the crowd. The real struggle is to go against it. Sometimes it’s almost impossible when the masses are pressing against you, trying to move you from your position and trying with force to break your stride or push you off course: it’s an unpleasant and thankless task and sometimes you may be completely alone doing it. As you move against the crowd you should expect to meet opposition routinely. The critics will call you names and do everything to undermine your footing with lies and insults; they want to break you free of your position so you won’t be an obstacle to their agenda. As you move against the crowd, you’ll spot faces you know. Friends. But as they get closer, even those you called friend will remain unwilling to consider your position or question the direction of their crowd; they too will try just as hard as anyone else to destroy your beliefs and determination. They will scoff and mock you for your position as well as lie about your true intentions. You and others who stick by you will feel the weight and pain from the crowd.
As heavy as the crowd pushes, it amounts to hardly anything for a man who has a firmly held belief; it’s his belief that lends strength in the face of fear or pain from the crowd. In “The Quality of Courage,” Leroy E. Mosher writes of a courageous man, “He will do his duty as he sees it at all hazards, and in spite of opposition or adverse criticism, leaving to the future the vindication of his actions.” In matters of conviction, your courage isn’t measured by the strength of your flesh, it’s measured by the strength of your belief. If you’re moving forward with the courage of your convictions, you won’t worry about the consequences.