Sometimes, breaking rules is the right fix

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 31, 2007

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”–Moliere

There is a tendency for some people to believe that all they have to do to be good citizens is to stay out of trouble.

They feel that if they obey all rules and laws, and don’t do anything to harm other people, God will be pleased with them.

But, what people actually do is only half the equation.

The other half is positive things that they could, but don’t, do.

It’s not enough just to refrain from doing anything wrong.

We must also seize upon opportunities to take actions that will make life better for all. Some of the greatest contributors to humanity actually broke unjust rules and laws in order to further the cause of social justice.

For example, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. practiced nonviolent civil disobedience in their struggle to right wrongs.

Gandhi helped free India from British control and is considered the father of modern India.

Dr. King was the primary inspiration for, and the main leader of, the civil rights movement in the United States.

Both broke laws of man and were ultimately assassinated because of their actions, but their contributions to improving the lives of the masses are immeasurable.

God gives each of us a unique set of talents and opportunities, and I think He expects us to use those talents and opportunities to the fullest extent possible.

In some cases, our special talents may lead us into career fields where we can make the most of them daily at our place of work.

However, whether or not our career field lends itself to making the most of our talents, we will have many opportunities throughout life to use our talents to make life better for others.

Beloved American humorist, Erma Bombeck, who chronicled life’s absurdities in a syndicated column carried by hundreds of newspapers and wrote numerous popular books including, “The Grass Is always Greener Over the Septic Tank,” is one example of a person who was absolutely determined to make the most of her God-given talents.

She wrote, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything

you gave me.’”

Allen W. SmitH is a syndicated columnist from Winter Haven, Fla. His telephone number is 800-840-6812.