Radical or Regular?


Socrates, Jesus, and Buddha were not ordinary men. They were regarded as either extremist, outsiders, or revolutionaries who did not accommodate to the status quo. They refused to be faded in the crowd and rather chose a radical lifestyle. So did Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa, and Martin Luther King, Jr. These people made history. If it weren’t for their radical ways of life, their names would have never been recognized. But they were radical in a positive way. They were  not like today’s terrorists who want to take over the world by killing those who oppose them.  These famous people were hungry for  righteousness.  By this I mean they had in common that they strongly believed in peace, justice, end of suffering, and love and were not ashamed to voice these opinions. They had dreams of a society where people genuinely cared for each other.  They wanted a better world.  This is why being radical today is not necessarily a bad thing, if the intention is to unite, not separate.  It is rather a way of letting people know that the way things are in this world are not how they should be.  We need to not be afraid of voicing that we have experienced enough segregation.  We need to unite in spite of difference of religion, social status, sexual orientation, race, and culture.   However, it is a conscious choice we need to make, in spite of the opposition.

MLK I see myself  not quite like these famous historical figures, but as an individual who is not content with what occurs in this world.  It troubles me deeply how people disregard the poor and continue to live their lives as if the needy are invisible.  It troubles me how political figures, whom we  voted for, make important decisions without considering some significant aspects such as the poor, education, and health care.  It discusses me how we tend to preach so much about love, but do not practice it in our daily lives.  Maybe I am naive.  Maybe I don’t understand fully what needs to be known so that I can understand better why things happen.  But at the same time, were Socrates and Jesus also naive, and had to pay with their lives?  Was Martin Luther King, Jr., and Abraham Lincoln unaware of the full scope of politics and society and were then executed?  I believe they had much better understanding of the nature of human beings, and this is why they spoke up.  The idea is not to simply  have the realization that justice has not been served.  What matters is speaking up the realization . It takes guts to stand up and say, enough! Denying our comfortable lives and accepting persecution and marginalization comes with the package.  I could simply be a regular person, and not act for justice. But I don’t feel this is right. I wish I had more bravery to stand up and help bring justice and peace to this world. Socrates But I guess it starts with a simple act of compassion.  It can begin with not forgetting the poor and the needy, and start feeding them.  It begins with supporting children, the elderly, and the sick.  It starts with my vote, my presence in some protests, and practicing justice.  I rather be Radical , like Jesus, Socrates, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were, than be a regular person. Do you dare be radical as well?


About Noel

I am a person who has realized that the teachings of Jesus are centralized in the genuine care and service of others. I have evolved from fundamentalism to a moderate spiritual approach. I am a reflecting person who has grown to not fear doubt but to embrace it as a means to growth and increasing closeness to God. View all posts by Noel

4 responses to “Radical or Regular?

  • Cindy Holman

    Great article – really makes you think. Yes. I want to be a radical. 🙂

  • Marianne Lordi

    Noel, While I agree that we should always do the right thing despite what others around us are doing, this thought you made:
    “We need to unite in spite of difference of religion, social status, sexual orientation, race, and culture” gives me pause to think. Can you unite with a radical Islamist who feels that you should die if you do not convert to Islam? Jesus did not “unite” with the Pharisees whom he called “white-washed tombs”, nor did he compromise one iota on the truth.

    • Noel

      Good point, Marianne. When I wrote “But they were radical in a positive way. They were not like today’s terrorists who want to take over the world by killing those who oppose them”, I was stressing on the same point. We can unite only with those who have the same sentiment we have as a community, not with those who force others to convert to their religion.

      • Marianne Lordi

        That’s right, Noel. For those who oppose freedom of faith, we must pray for them. We still must love all because whether they are deceived or not, they were created by our God. However, to unite with those who propose evil or to try to find a commonality with them is something that will not happen. By the way, there is a really good book by Brigitte Gabriele titled, BECAUSE THEY HATE. Brigitte does commentaries for Fox news. She grew up in Lebanon and saw first hand what evil looked like. It opened my eyes to a lot of what is actually going on. Email me at commish07@zoominternet.net. I will send the book to you. Fascinating reading.

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