Monday, June 6, 2011

Courage of Conviction

Conventional wisdom tells us that we should not talk about money, religion, or politics in polite company. That message is even more ramped up when it comes to business. It is foolish to burn bridges with potential customers taking a position on these controversial things and turning someone off who may not do business with us because of it.

During the entirety of my career I followed this thought process with a passion. I took it to the extreme and wouldn't tell anyone I followed Purdue sports to not turn off any Hoosier fans. I wouldn't wear facial hair because there is a certain part of the population this turns off. Vanilla and safe were the goal.

Why today, have I thrown that completely out the window? Because there is a huge difference between having integrity, character, conviction, and courage.

We should always strive to have integrity, we should teach our children to as well. Integrity is not doing something wrong, not cheating, stealing, or misdealing. We should all have integrity. For instance if we saw three big guys beating up someone, we can have integrity just by not taking advantage of this situation. However this isn't enough. We need to step up and show character and stand up and do right. Character will require us to get involved. Character requires courage, courage to take a stand, to take a personal risk. Character could cause pain to come to you because you had the courage to step into the fray. But it requires that you do what is right, not just know what is right.

When you see something happening that you believe is wrong, something that you find yourself under conviction to stand up against it. Then it requires that you have the courage to take the risk of personal harm, be it nothing more than financial harm, to show your true character and step into the fray, to say "this is wrong!" To do something about it.

If you are reading this, like many I know, you cheer from the sidelines, you watch others speaking out, and are glad they do, but fear what might happen to you if you joined in the chorus. Let me ask you to consider moving from integrity to character through courage. Take the risk, step out, follow the example of our founders and become a leader in your sphere of influence. You may lose some "friends", you may have some question you and chastise you, but you will feel good knowing that you are a person of conviction with the courage to speak out, and make a difference.

In my opinion, our freedoms and liberties, and those of our children and grandchildren hang in the balance. Let's roll!!!