A First Disciple

It takes courage to live boldly by the truth, to speak the truth we know, to live the truth we speak, and ever to seek higher truth. The great failing of humanity is not ignorance of the right, but cowardice, selfishness, and moral laziness that prevents them living it. Standing boldly by the truth is often a short cut to unpopularity. The advance guard in new ideas have always to suffer the temporary neglect and contempt of the rear guard. If it be a great truth, upsetting tradition, conventions, and the placid lines of thinking, it may require decades for its acceptance; if it be but a mere grain of truth, cleverly capsuled in alluring error, it captures the unthinking with the magic of a fad. It takes courage to speak a new great truth or to be a first disciple; it requires no courage to stand in the ranks of the heavy battalions of belief.” ~ William George Jordan

“The great failing of humanity is not ignorance of the right, but cowardice, selfishness, and moral laziness that prevents them living it.” When I consider all the threats to our existence as a race and to our lives as individuals, I cannot think of another that is as debilitating, pervasive or ubiquitous as the failure to …live boldly by the truth, to speak the truth we know, to live the truth we speak, and ever to seek higher truth.”


11 thoughts on “A First Disciple

  1. David R

    Yes! And it’s not just a matter of blurting out strident commentary on the nasty world in order to show our uniqueness or bravery! We have the courage to be consistent, whether our views may be pupular or anathema. We let our lives, rather than just our words, speak for us. We don’t impose our views self-righteously, but neither do we shrink from articulation of what is true as may be required. In a world domianted by illusion and flagrant dishonesty it is an art and a science to live as a point of effective orientation in what is true and real.


    1. Gregg Hake

      I love the balance point you point to in your comment. Neither self-righteousness nor cowardice…there is a sweet spot somewhere in between.


  2. Beth C

    There is great danger in turning away from the truth we do know. That action produces a certain blindness, a stupor leading to a loss of discernment and the eventual inability to recognize the truth even when it is clearly shown to us.


    1. Gregg Hake

      You have to harden your heart to the source of joy when you turn away from the truth that you know. Otherwise the shame would be unbearable.


  3. Colin

    I have always wondered why people in general can’t see the pattern of destructive denial that has preceded the acceptance of every great advance in human history. The sad thing is that the denial has almost always hurt the innovator the most. It has become a platitude to state that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, and I think it’s even worse that we know this so well that we have a common saying for it, but we still continue to make the mistake as a species. The only way to change this ingrained habit is to not be afraid to live a life that matches in deeds what we know to be right in our minds. Don’t fall back because of fear of unpopularity or retribution. We know they will come, because they always come to those who do differently, but we do the right thing anyway, because it is the right thing.


  4. Ricardo B.

    Changing what one likes in favor of what is true can be quite the challenge. There may be traditions involved in what is liked, perhaps beliefs steeped in mere culture or some structure of ideas and concepts as in various scientific perspectives. Once a zealous fervor develops to defend these ideas/likes at any costs, I think the person has missed the boat. I’ve been derailed in my profession by getting caught up too much in fervor. There’s a big difference between passion and fervor!
    At any rate, I can see how it is stated that to live up to the standard of truth takes courage. Everything in your life must come under its dominion as there is no room for half-truths, just as one note out of key is quite obvious to all involved in a piece of music. It’s not about what is necessarily pleasing or culturally correct at first, for many of our customs have been developed as a result of conveniences and settlements. But truth integrates the soul because there is real harmony between the mind and heart; there is nothing else like it and if greater ideas, feelings and behaviors need to replace existing ones, let us have the courage to quickly accept them, changing our ways, as we truly honor our love for the truth.


  5. Coco

    I’ve heard truth described as “my truth”. It’s interesting to me as often it appears to be what is convenient in confirming what is believed or expedient to justify various actions. There is only the truth. Ralph Waldo Emerson said,”As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps the principles can sellect his own methods.” This is one of the reason I appreciate your blog. Thank you.


  6. Kolya

    This is where the rubber hits the road between talk and walk. It’s easy to shake your head and say, “yes, that’s the truth,” but it takes real courage to live by it. Do we cave when life gets stormy? Or, do we stand tall and unafraid because we know our passion for what is right and true is the healing salve for the ills of humanity.


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