Sunday, August 29, 2004

Mud Wrestling

Did you ever wonder where society is headed right now? I've noticed that wherever you go, people who desire acceptance from others seem to think that the best way to fit in is to make fun of someone else. And this seems to be universal, at least in the United States. And it runs all the way from the cliques in High School to the Presidential Elections. Everyone seems to want to get ahead not by striving to be a better person, but by pushing others down into the mud.
What I like about this quote is that it's true. The more mud you sling, the less ground you have to stand on -- you're throwing all your ground at the other guy, trying to bury him. And sometimes it works, you can bury the guy in the mud so that even though you have less ground to stand on (or may even be standing in a ditch), the other guy is so covered in mud that no one notices him, and you get to join the "in crowd," or whatever your goal was. But sometimes it can backfire.
There's a story I like, about a farmer and his cow. His prize cow fell in a deep hole he had been drilling for a well, and try as he might the farmer cannot pull the cow out of the hole -- she's stuck. So he decides to bury her alive, and dig the well elsewhere. He keeps shoveling loads of dirt into the hole, yet notices that the cow is still on top, so he decides to watch. Each time he throws a shovelful of dirt into the hole, the cow shakes it off her back and steps on it, packing it into the bottom of the hole. By the time the hole is full the cow is standing on top, instead of accepting defeat and allowing herself to be buried. She has saved herself by using the dirt trying to bury her as a way to escape from the hole.
Mud can't hurt you, unless you let it. If you just shake off the mud slinging, and concentrate on more positive goals, the only one who really gets hurt is the mud pitcher. You make him look petty and inconsequential, because he tried to bury your self esteem in the mud and you used it to make a hill to stand on and look down at the poor soul in his ditch who thought he could get ahead by teasing and other harmful actions.
Let this be a lesson to all mud-slingers -- you cannot win by throwing mud. The best way to get ahead in life is not to oppress others, but to pursue positive goals instead of negative ones, and see what you can do to make yourself a better person, instead of trying to make others worse. Not only is this the best way to get ahead in life, it is also the best way to move society forward, and to make a positive difference in the world. Think positive, be positive, bring positive wherever you go.

Let mercy lead,
Be the strength in your legs,
And with every footprint that you leave,
There'll be a drop of Grace...

~ Rich Mullins, "Let Mercy Lead"



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