On March 20, 1925, an Anglican priest named Frederick Lewis Donaldson preached a sermon centering around what he called the “7 Deadly Social Evils.” Through the help of what he called a “fair friend,” Mohandas Gandhi had the opportunity to reprint the list in his weekly newspaper. A few weeks before the Mahatma’s assassination, he gave a handwritten copy of the list to his grandson, Arun Gandhi. It was Arun Gandhi that brought the list to the world, publishing it after his grandfather’s death under the heading “Seven Blunders of the World.”
One of the speakers at my nephew’s recent graduation quoted Dwight Schrute, a character from The Office (because no one on television has said anything worth quoting in the last ten years). Dwight said, “Whenever I’m about to do something, I ask myself, ‘Would an idiot do that?’’ And if they would, I do not do that thing.”
As simple and irrefutable as that logic is, I can’t help thinking it is needful in our day and time.
I was always a “better safe than sorry” kind of kid with regard to Biblical concepts. For instance, Jesus said, “Swear not at all” in Matthew 5:34, so I wouldn’t say the word “swear.” I’ve come to realize that isn’t the point of that passage; still, I can’t help cringing a bit when I hear someone say, “I swear to God.”
I say that to bring up another passage from the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:22 reads, ‘But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”
It’s amazing how the Olympics brings people together. An entire nation is rooting for the same team. Longhorns and Aggies. Wolverines and Buckeyes. Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria. But in a good way.
But the closing ceremonies are a few hours away, as I type. And after that, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony will resume their NBA rivalry as though nothing had happened in Rio.