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The predicaments faced by Lily in her quest to avoid moral depravity give a meaning ‘Moral Conviction’. Moral conviction is the utter belief in the wrongs or rights of a situation and the ability to substantially stand by the conviction (Brownlee 24).Lily is the one soul that ultimately stands for her beliefs and suffers punishment for them. The lady on more than one occasion loses her teaching job for her inability to be persuaded out of believes. The strength she exhibits and the courage to face the consequences of advocating right choices is an admirable factor worth emulating. Her character is a presentation of mental independence and valiance. Moral depravity to her is unacceptable but most importantly, moral conviction doesn’t serve to deflate her conscience and freedom of the mind (Brownlee 33).
Lily’s Stand by her Convictions
Having been plagued with financial shortfalls that drove her family into multitasking in desperate attempts to make something of themselves, Lily struck yet another job. Grady Gammage, who had been of help previously in Red Lake, helped her get a remote teaching role. In the small town of Main Street, Lily and her company get a kind reception that start to change upon the revelation of her husband’s real identity.The ‘Teacher Lady’, for yet another time, began with enthusiasm her role of administering knowledge, while at the time instilling in the crop of learners the elements of free will. The factor was not received with the same alacrity among the Mormon families who considered modernity as blasphemous. The village patriarch labels her attempt to impart knowledge and encouragement not as education, but as confusion.However, Lily stood by her mentality and rebuffed the attempts of correction and streamlining from the old man. Her reaction is so intense that she delivers an even stronger lesson to the learners the following day. The old man, Uncle Eli, lands in a life threatening situation when he attempts to advance his corrections to Lily. Events that develop henceforth deprive Lily of her job, as she was served with a letter from the County Superintendent of Mohave bearing the dismissal.The Lady Teacher believed that people intentionally block their ability to reason. Earlier in the novel, a conversation between her and her dad symbolizes this aspect. Her daddy says, “…horses are smarter than they let on. Kind of like the Indians who pretend they can’t speak English because no good ever came from talking with the Anglos.” (Walls 22)Lily’s case is just one among many. Experiences like such are a common phenomenon in different places and are catapulted by various reasons. Personally, I’ve been party to moral conviction and have experienced situations that threaten to hang my moral beliefs and statements.
Personal Struggle with Moral Conviction
I teamed up with High School peers during the 2009 summer in the creation of a community club that aimed at offering communal services to the disadvantaged in the community. The group set objectives to mete out cleaning and mowing services for the old and physically challenged. The project had been inspired by a drive from school that challenged all students to be a part of every social aspect in the communities. Communal service was the sure way of earning credibility and maximum points.The other groups members, Jese, Stephan, Rebeca, and Ciara, thrived on their ability to socialize freely and manipulate their ways around with the recipients of our services. On the other hand, I had a belief in a discreet relationship with our hosts. I did not encourage acceptance of rewards or invitation for meals as such would be payback that derail the essence of communal service.
One evening after a visit to a crippled man’s home in which we did mowing, trimming and training of hedges, I confronted the group over their acceptance of the reward money the host had offered.”You do not understand!” said Stephan. “Had we not accepted the offer, the man would have felt insulted.”I totally did not agree and did not hesitate to object. “You all fall short of knowledge about communal service, failing to take the money in humble ways, could have earned our credit, even before the man!” I shouted back at him.In my perception, the statement I made was a restatement of the obvious, but in got such a horrible reception from my peers. Their moods suddenly changed. It was liked I had stepped on a time bomb that had been waiting to explode, and explode it did.”You are mentally messed up, and we do not work with crooks, do we buddies?” Jese called out, and the response was unified to signify their acceptance. I was voted out of the group and for the rest of the summer, I stayed indoors with no friends but family.My ego and belief in upholding the truth dint give me a room for a second thought, or even an apology. In a sense, I dint see the relevance of participating in activities that had lost their course and value. All the while though, I dint feel like I was alone, I felt like Lily, I felt like I was with truth.Negation of principles degrades the aspects of mental freedom (Brownlee 47). There is little sense in having principles that cannot be followed and that is the belief that drive both Lily and I.
Brownlee, Kimberley. Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.
Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel. Perfection Learning Prebound, 2009. Print.