According to Wikipedia it is the motto of North Carolina as well as a long list of other organizations. Evidently Machiavelli reversed it to videri quam esse (to seem rather than to be).
I am afraid that our culture is into Machiavelli. At school I talk about it being smoke and mirrors. We see the same thing in politics, the church, business and in our families.
The big question is the one dealing with what we can change. Do we see smoke and mirrors in our own lives? Are we being or seeming? I think we can tell. What is necessary is a commitment to be honest with ourselves. We know what we really think. We know when our words and public commitments are done out of fear or for show. Hypocrisy begins in our hearts long before it is expressed by our actions.
I think we can change our world if we change ourselves. James Dobson used to tell a story about a meeting he attended. At the time he was the elder in the room. Most of the rest were young women just getting started in life. On a table was spread of coffee and whatever went with coffee in that venue. They were invited to partake and one by one they said they really didn’t want any coffee until the question was asked of Dobson. I got the impression he was the last one. He said, “Yes, I think I would like a cup.” As he walked toward the table everyone else suddenly got honest and declared they would have some also.
We may not have anyone follow, at least at first, but if we don’t start standing up to the count there will be noone to follow. If you are a Christian then this is not really an option. We are called to be witnesses for our God. If you are not a believer then you might also have an inner moral fiber that is not happy with silence.
Lets begin to speak out. But whether you are a believer or not the guidelines of the Bible are a good reminder of how to do it.
(1 Peter 3:15 NAS77) but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;Make a difference in your corner. Esse quam videri
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