The Relief of Giving In

I am a bookworm. I have gone through many phases of favorite kinds of books. Historical fiction. Christian Romance. Mystery. Spy thrillers. World War 2. John Grisham. American frontier stories. Books about different people groups. And, probably one of my favorites, Post-Apocalypitical. 

I was thinking about this genre lately. I also enjoy post-apocalypitcal movies, but I find that I have a hard time getting through them nowadays as they mess with my emotions too much. I start the movie and get about ten minutes in and then turn it off. Nope. Can’t do it. Even though it looks wonderfully interesting. But, what I was thinking about recently was the theme of the Traitor. Every book always ends up with the Masses who are all doing one thing, and then a small group that is fighting to do something different. The Masses are always the “bad guy” and the small group are always the “heroes”. And there is almost always one person in the small group who turns traitor and joins the masses, betraying the small group in some extravagant way. 

What hit me was that when that person turned traitor there was a sense of relief and peace. A relaxing. Ah yes. I have finally stopped fighting and just accepted what the masses want me to accept. It’s so peaceful. No more fighting. No more striving. I can just live a “normal” life like everyone else in this mass of humanity. I won’t stick out. I won’t draw any attention to myself. I will be liked and accepted. Wheww. That feels so good. No more hardship. No more sacrifice. It’s the normal life for me. 

And of course, as the reader or viewer, we are appalled. How could you! You traitor! Can’t you see the masses are on a road to self-destruction?? Can’t you see the rigthness of the small group’s cause??? How could you??

And really, that’s not very fair on our part. Being in the small minority is never easy. It’s a struggle. It’s a constant battle of self-doubt. Am I really in the right? All these masses seem to think otherwise? You believe in your cause, but you don’t have much support for that cause, if any. It’s very much a solo struggle. 

Of course, all the books and movies (dare I say history as well?) prove to us that the fight is worth it. In the end, it doesn’t matter how many people agree with the masses, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong. And you have to stand up for right, no matter how difficult. And, at least in the stories, right always prevails in the end. 

I think about times that I have turned traitor to my own convictions. The time I was really convicted that my kids needed less screen time and more books and imaginary play. But they were driving me crazy, and I just wanted some peace and quiet. So I turned the tv on. And it felt peaceful at first. Ah. Relief. Except later, I had kids even more addicted to screens and learning balance and self control in this area became even harder. 

There are times when I am trying to heal my body of the effects of too much sugar, fat, calories. And I determine that I will only eat certain foods that are going to help me be stronger. But someone offers me a dessert. And I could be awkward and say no thank you, and be the only one not eating it or I can just, sure, why not, just this once? Ah the relief of eating that wonderful dessert. Except later, I find I have taken ten steps backwards in achieving my health goals and it’s even harder to move forward again than it was before. 

I feel very strongly that in the days to come we are going to be more and more in a situation where you are called to go along with the masses, against your moral convictions and beliefs, and the group of people who are fighting for right is going to get smaller and smaller. Our culture is pushing more and more for Full Acceptance of the status quo or face harsher and harsher consequences. This is the time to fully examine what you believe and what you stand for. Own your beliefs. Don’t believe things because it’s what your family or culture believes. Don’t believe things because it’s what mainstream media teaches you. Don’t believe things because it’s what your favorite political party is preaching. Do your research. Do your due diligence. If we can learn anything from books/movies/history it’s that being in the majority does not automatically make you right. There is a great relief in being in the majority. But in the end, that relief leads to death. Not life. Know what you believe and then be ready to stand firm in that belief. 

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