Friday, November 5, 2010

Some Rise by Wrong

“Some rise by wrong,
and some by virtue fall.”

Those words were written by Bruce Hornsby.
I don’t know the name of the song.
Maybe you do.

I can’t get over this Lyric.
As a songwriter, I appreciate the difficulty of expressing a thought, a concept, an illumination, with the simple turn of a phrase.

“Some rise by wrong.”
These four short words point out perfectly the inequities in life.
As fallible, often shallow and insensitive people, we too often tend to view, as successful, those who have money, who have an impressive collection of possessions, and maybe a trophy wife to present as the ultimate evidence of that success.
And we are equally inclined to view the poor, the disenfranchised, the struggling, and painfully affected, who go without, as failures, as losers.

We don’t necessarily make the choice to view people that way, we just tend to exercise the insensitivity of our own human nature. And it is that nature that can skew even the most thoughtfully developed consciousness.

But, in truth, some, do, ‘rise by wrong’.
Fortunes have been made, popularity and ‘success’ has been achieved, quite often on the outcome of dishonorable, deceitful, immoral or unethical decisions, with the habitual practice of such choices. Nobody sees, or even cares about, the manner in which that supposed success has been achieved. We only see the results, and then consider the individual to be successful.

And then, conversely, some, do, ‘by virtue fall’.
The obvious example is the fallen Televangelist who preaches, but, ultimately, pretends at, virtue, as he gets caught up in the benefits that his virtue brings him.
And many others are not so terribly different.
Good people sometimes tend to trade upon their goodness to achieve their own ends.
The unfortunate outcome of that is that their goodness, their virtue, if you will, eventually leaks out of them like blood from a severed vein.

Some, in life, have chosen honorable, ethical, and moral positions that have, invariably, thwarted their own financial rise, and circumstantial well-being.
Far too often those positions, and people, are considered to be weak.
Some have lived by virtue from the beginning, and have never had access to easy money, power, or possessions because of it. And some have ascended to virtue later in life, after having found ‘success’, but have eventually fallen from that position, from their temporal security, with the ultimate embrace of an honorable existence.

And of course, those who have chosen to live a virtuous life often get caught up in the cycle of poverty, making the choice between wrong, and virtue, even more difficult for them, and more compelling.
God bless those whose strength and determination, whose efficacy, enables their own virtue to live.

“Some rise by wrong,
and some by virtue fall.”

Nothing we don’t really already know,
but a reminder for us to ‘SEE what we’re actually looking at’.
And to be the best people that we can.