Last Friday, I wrote about journalists and their penchant for wanting to save the world from itself – right wrongs, punish evil-doers, battle injustice. They have passion and youthful idealism. They see problems as having simple solutions.
Ever been there?
I have, and like you, bear the scars as testimony of why youthful idealism can be so dangerous. Worse, I’ve hurt more than just myself in the process, I’ve hurt others.
A friend of mine, who was teaching a Sunday school class once got it into his head that anti-depressive medication was wrong, and that you lacked faith in God if you took them.Â With youthful enthusiasm, he proceeded to tell everyone in his class that they should not be taking these drugs and have faith in God instead.
Several days later, the phone rang at my friend’s house. His wife picked up the phone. Sobbing into the other end of the telephone line, a woman said that her husband was being taken to a psychiatric hospital. Her husband was a member of my friend’sÂ Sunday school class,Â had taken my friend’s words to heart andÂ stopped taking his medication.
My friend spent many days at the bedside of this Sunday school class member and will never forget the lesson thatÂ he learned there.
Unfortunately, journalists don’t have the personal connection to their audience that a Sunday school teacher has.Â They don’t know how damaging their mistakes are, and when they discover their errors, they oftenÂ lack the integrity to try and fix them.
Maybe they need to spend more time in Sunday school?Â