Hiding from yourself

Been thinking about Ben Franklin on giving up essential liberty for temporary safety, and how there's a broader meme of giving up doing the right thing for the safety of holding onto one's illusions. Confronting your mistakes can challenge your self-perception, and that scares some to inaction.

I know someone who's so afraid of facing his sin that he's willing to let hurt and injustice he caused continue unabated and walk away. He feels fragile and at risk, and for him that feeling trumps the damage he did to others. I hope I'm strong enough to avoid his mistake when I need to do teshuva (as we all do).

This person isn't evil. He is, as far as I can tell, paralyzed by his own fears, to the point where he can no longer function as a responsible human who does the hard-but-ethical thing. I pity him. I thank God that I retain my mental and moral function, and I hope I continue to merit that strength and faculty. If we give up ethical behavior for comfort, then what are we?

I am far from perfect. I mess up sometimes. When I become aware, I try to repair the damage I did to the extent I can. Isn't this what we should all aim for?