Often the path of comfort and familiarity is the action people take, even when they know that it’s the wrong thing to do. Imagine seeing a crime occurring, do you call 911? The chances are that you will make the call because you are anonymous. However, what happens if you are required to go to court and finger the perpetrator? Does this change your willingness to cooperate? For many people it does. They have the perspective that not getting involved is their prerogative because it is not their problem. Stepping out on principle does mean that you take a chance, but it also means that you stand on principles. Standing on principles is noble and honorable. The reason that we hold people who do the right thing in such high esteem is because it often goes against the grain. We’ve often heard the saying that it is easier to go along to get along. The very nature of the acceptance of this statement is what allows crimes to go unsolved and the moral fiber of society to decay. The true spirit of history’s heroes is filled with those that chose to stand up and stand for something. As members of society we live under the banner of freedom that others died to provide, and it should be our civic duty to make a commitment to ourselves and our communities that we will continue to strive to adhere to a code of ethics.
In the workplace you may see injustice and be challenged not say something because you may feel that your job hangs in the balance. This is nothing more than fear which gives the situation more power than it actually has. When we see safety violations and say nothing people’s lives are at risk. If something catastrophic happens it is our conscience that becomes seared. Our society can ill afford more people that are numb to happenings around them. The sad thing about abusers and those that exercise injustice on others is that they rely on the apathy of witnesses. The strength of communities is not based on self or individual self preservation but on the salvation of the collective. When people originally came together and formed tribes or communities it was for protection. Those unions were based on trust. In order to foster this trust we must know each other in such a way that this trust will become instinctive. As we build new walls of trust doing what is right will be far more fashionable than doing what is easy. There is greater strength in numbers than in the power we have individually. In order for our neighborhood watches to be effective we must reinvest the time and energy to genuinely care about our neighbors because we know our neighbors in more than name only, but in friendship.
The greatest impact we can have in curtailing crime and injustice lies in our collective resolve to do what is right even when doing what is easy is more in line with our comfort zone. Breaking the cycle begins with a willingness to stand up and stand for something, knowing that others will follow. The impact of a single action standing on principle can change the world. Let us create a new movement that will revolutionize communities by reinventing ourselves.