Doing Things Right is not the same as Doing The Right Thing

Posted: 22 March 2016 in Understanding Others
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talibanDeep in Taliban held Afghanistan, a Taliban leader washes the feet of his men.  “As soon as everyone was assembled it was time for dinner: a communal heap of rice and a plate of oily, orange coloured mutton.  It was a special occasion. Abdullah had scooted around the circle beforehand with a pewter basin and a jug of warm water – a hand washing ceremony that was usually performed by the youngest son of the family, not the most senior man present.  It was a deliberate act of self –abasement, an expression of humility and comradeship more eloquent than any words.”

Washing the feet of those he is leader.  An act so alike that of Jesus before he too went to face death.  Alike.  We stare at the story of Jesus as if it was out of this world.  Yet so much of the story of Jesus is not extra-terrestrial. Much is perfectly explicable in the lives of that many people alive today.  Though not in modernist London.  Sacrifice, servant-leadership, humility from the front.  I thought this story was admirable, breath-taking even.

But also an act of Jesus before he too went to face death that is – not alike.  Abdullah will kill.  Sure, for a thought out cause, not for money or power.  But forcing the death of others will be the medium of the message.   “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” said Mao.  Abdullah thinks so too.  For Jesus, and his followers, the death of themselves will be the medium of the message. To “give your life to be a ransom for many”.

3This is Holy Week.  Just three days till Day Zero.  Doing things right is not the same as Doing the right thing.


(c) Quote taken from “A Million Bullets” by James Fergusson (2008)



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