When we think of doing what is right, what do we think of? Many of us will think of examples not speeding while you drive or being honest about your taxes, even fighting the urge to steal. But, what about those that break the rules for the sole purpose of what is right? Those that go against the popular opinion to take a stand against injustice. They put their own safety on the line to fight evil, not for themselves, but for others. These people are the true heroes of history and everyone should learn from them.

One of history’s greatest heroes against injustice and evil was Martin Luther. As a monk for the Catholic church in the 1500s, Martin Luther was very passionate about his faith. Luther never felt that he was saved by God from his sins, and was in confession almost every day for hours. Throughout Luther’s time with the Catholic Church, he started to see the corruption and hypocrisy hidden inside. He saw how the church made people pay their money in order to have a blessing from the church so they would be saved. The church leaders would not reads out of the scripture for the answers, but instead would read from the books passed down from the former power hungry popes.  Luther eventually published writings against the powerful church and was summoned to the “Diet of Worms” to stand in front of the church, if he would not recant these writings Martin Luther would face death.

I can not submit my faith either to the pope or to the council, because it is as clear as noonday that they have fallen into error and even into glaring inconsistency with themselves. If, then, I am not convinced by proof from Holy Scripture, or by cogent reasons, if I am not satisfied by the very text I have cited, and if my judgment is not in this way brought into subjection to God’s word, I neither can nor will retract anything; for it can not be right for a Christian to speak against his country. I stand here and can say no more. God help me. Amen. (Luther)          

Martin Luther could have simply said that he recanted his statements walked away unharmed. With this profound statement that he had made in front of the court, Martin Luther was actively rebelling against the most powerful structure in all of Europe. Luther was doing what was right by standing for the good of the people. He knew that this rebellion would likely be his death, but he still fought for tat was right.

To do what is right is more than following rules and being kind. To do what is right means to think about the greater good even if that would be putting oneself in a difficult situation. You do not have to be a beginner of a world changing movement ot do what is right, you could simply focus on other people and their needs more than your own. Weather that is standing up to the bully at school or simply helping others with their problems, you can do what is right.      

CC BY-SA 4.0 To do Right by Blake is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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