We should never be silent when those in power abuse that power for their own benefit, writes Thomas Wynne.
“God helps those who helps themselves” – it’s a quote we often use, and applied to a sense of getting the job done and then God will help your efforts. Some think it is Biblical in its origins, but in fact it is a quote from famous Greek storyteller Aesop, the author of Aesop’s Fables.
phrase is often used to highlight the need for people to take the initiative,
with some attributing its origins to American politician Benjamin Franklin but
the roots of this idea go all the way back to ancient Greece. The actual
English version of this quote we use today was first penned by Algernon Sydney,
an English politician who lived in the 1600s.
that we must do all we can and exhaust all possibilities and then go to God for
help is contrary to the “good news” Jesus afforded us. In fact, we are
dependant first and surrendered wholly to a God that supplies our need and
sustains us. It was Paul the Apostle who famously said: “But by the grace of
God I am what I am”, so is it more that we are dependant and surrendered and,
in that surrender, we find the strength, support and resource we need? Because
self-sufficiency often leads to pride and pride to arrogance and arrogance well
…we know how that ends.
this arrogance, that we can act and do without, that leads to the subtle forms
of corruption that invade healthy democracies and turn them like rotten milk to
curd and waste.
is never bold; it is always subtle. It is not seen as a brazen crime, instead,
it is a subtle shift from what is true to a slight move to the left or the
right that for all intents and purposes looks like a course true and steady.
For anyone that has sailed the ocean, they know a slight variation in course
will send you off course and you will miss your final destination, unless of
course, your destination was never what was intended and spoken of.
is this subtle shift, it is the appearance of a true course but behind the
scenes the compass has been changed by those given the responsibility to plot
the course, be they family leaders, tribal leaders, local leaders or the
leaders of our country, and deep down you just know something is very wrong.
again Greek author Aesop who said: “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the
great ones to public office”, and German author Karl Kraus who said “corruption
is worse than prostitution”. The latter may endanger the morals of an
individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of an entire country.
former leader of the United Nations said, if corruption is a disease, then
transparency is an essential part of its treatment. And yet we know corruption
is done in the open, it is a charade of what looks true and transparent, and
yet behind the scenes the deals are already done and the transparency is simply
a cover for what has already been corrupted.
we should never accept corrupt practice or sleight of hand as something to turn
our face from and say nothing. We should never be silent when those in power
abuse that power for their own benefit nor should we not ask the tough
questions and expect a reasoned response as opposed to the name calling and
belittling often served by those entrusted with public resource.
shoot the messenger, we incinerate them, publically ridicule them, castigate
them on social media, mock them in halls of power, or just dismiss them by
perverting process, and around tables seek to remove them from our country, or
simply ignore them, hoping they will go away.
continues in our silence, in fact it is allowed in our silence, and why Aesop’s
saying of “God helps them who helps themselves” is so dangerous. We should
never just help ourselves, we should never work independently from our Creator
for in doing so we damage our internal compass sending our Vaka off course and
with it the hopes and dreams, aspirations of ourselves and our people and
eventually run aground on the reef of arrogance and self-interest for all to