Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.
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I recently have had the privilege of counseling a young man who is a basketball coach at a Catholic college. The coach, who has been a successful coach at another Catholic college and who comes from a Catholic and coaching family, anticipated that his Athletic Director (AD) was going to dismiss him at the end of the season.
The young man was not angry at the thought of dismissal, he had never been fired, but he was apprehensive as to what might transpire in this process.
Sad to say, his apprehension was well placed. I can only say that the conduct of the AD, his superior, was utterly disappointing. His boss was without anything that resembled grace, kindness, fellowship or maturity. He was, on the contrary, harsh, rude, demanding, thoughtless, curt, impatient, inconsiderate, and needlessly hostile. He showed, shall we say, seemingly little regard for the institutional rules or ethos which was to govern him and others at the college.
You know you have met a disordered individual when the man doing the dismissing is hostile and the one being dismissed is not.
Unfortunately, individuals like this AD are too plentiful and they occupy way too much of our time for the chaos and ill will they generate.
Yet, I am particularly concerned that those who carry the sacred value of a Catholic or Christian institution, as this Athletic Director does, do real harm to religion, faith, community, our culture and most importantly to Christ by their faithless and senselessly injurious behavior.
These people poison the well, make the living water of faith distasteful to their victims and those who observe their behavior. All too frequently we let these people steal our heritage, destroy our way of life. Enough!!!
The life we have, the lives others have, deserve reverence, and nothing less.
All good behavior relies, as Schweitzer says, on reverence – and I would add our demand that we and others are treated with reverence.
It is our responsibility to speak up when others, like the Athletic Director, seek to destroy our heritage, our faith, to injure Christ. Yes, aggression and destruction of others and faith enters our life event by event, person by person.
It is not the large evidence of evil that we must face but the every day presence of it – that is where the battle is fought and where it is won.
Each of us is a sentinel on a watchtower. It is our job to speak up and to resist those who would destroy what God has made and shared with us. Silence in the face of destructive behavior makes us collaborators in this destruction.
Who wishes to be so enrolled and so compromised? This is the test for each of us. It is a daily test, local and personal.