Last night I saw the movie, "Gone Baby Gone." By myself. It is not a movie you just go see and forget; you want to talk about it, so I called a friend who had already seen the movie and we did just that. It provoked a good discussion about what one would do when faced with a moral dilemma. I maintained that you cannot wait until you are put into a situation to know what you would do - this is very passive and leaves you ill-prepared to make decisions that could affect people's lives.
It is our responsibility to develop a consistent moral compass so that we have some concept of what we would do when faced with a dilemma, otherwise we are really putting ourselves at the mercy of whatever emotional state we are in: whether that is anger or fear or adrenaline or just the first thing that comes to mind because it seems like a good idea at the time.
None of these are good reasons to base ones actions on, in my opinion, though I must admit I have reacted from all of them at one point or another. I have been frozen by fear, I have let the excitement of a moment blur the repercussions later on, I have let my anger harm another. But I am learning. Let my actions and reactions instead be based in love, justice, mercy, and hope. Yes, hope is very necessary for without it we never allow people the ability to change or learn from their mistakes. And I need that as much as anyone else.
This was taken in Manitoba on Christmas day several years ago.