Study The Good As Well As The Bad

By | March 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

Eric Talley had a stable job in information technology, where he utilized his master’s degree and provided for his wife and 7 children. But in 2010 he lost a close friend to a drunk driver. Eric Talley heard a calling, and he answered. At age 40 he quit his job and enrolled in the police academy with no guarantee of a new job. He was hired by the Boulder, Colorado Police Department. His pay was less and his hours longer, but he had his calling. So when gunfire broke out at a supermarket, he ran toward the sound rather than away. He was killed in the line of duty, KIA.

We spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars studying why people do evil. We will speculate endlessly on why the murderer shot up the Boulder market, and why another murderer shot up Atlanta massage parlors. Various theories will be advanced. Professors will deliver learned theories. Pundits will opine. Clergy will add their perspective. And in the end, little will be learned.

Perhaps it is time to spend similar hours and money studying people like Officer Eric Talley. What inspired him to take up a calling? What moved him to leave a safe job and take a dangerous one? Why did he feel that he owed his children an inheritance of something more than money? Why did he feel that he owed his community something more than information technology? Why did he feel that his master’s degree made him more knowledgeable than others but not better? What in his upbringing enabled him to live by these principles:

Courage is the most important virtue because, without courage, it is impossible to practice the other virtues. − Aristotle

If you fall, fall forward. ‒ Col. William “Wild Bill” Donovan, Director of OSS

Nor shall you stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the Lord. − Leviticus 19:16 (New American Bible)

 

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