What Redemption Presupposes
I had a flash of something as I watched Michael Vick apologize and it’s the idea of redemption.
Vick says he takes full responsibility for his actions, which included killing pit bulls that didn’t perform well and a dog fighting conspiracy charge. He apologized to the NFL and to the Atlanta Falcons and said he would redeem himself.
Then the owner of the team started discussing the situation and said basically the following:
“I can’t stand in front of you today and tell you that Michael Vick will no longer be with our team. I don’t think that would be in the best interest of our team, and certainly there are legal contracts and monetary situations that have to be dealt with. I believe that Michael needs to pay his debt to society. However, I am also a believer in redemption.”
So is redemption a possibility? Can he truly redeem himself?
I got to thinking about the word redemption because when I heard that, the thought began to echo in my mind.
A huge part of persuasion is learning how to persuade ourselves. And in persuading ourselves, we begin the process of (and hopefully get to) the very core of forgiveness – forgiveness for ourselves and for anyone else who has really upset or hurt us.
Forgiveness is selfish. It’s the right thing to do, but it will also free you up, free up your life. And that is ultimately in your self interest.
Beyond forgiveness is redemption.
How did redemption, redeem and redeeming, become popular in our lexicon? And how is it that human beings can focus on something like redemption?
It became clear to me that the human condition is one of constantly making corrections. Some of us take longer to learn from our mistakes than others, but we as persuaders who are hopefully tuning in to human nature and our own natures should begin to realize that as we have our ups and downs, we can absolutely lock on to what is working for us and abandon what is not.
From the time we are little children learning to walk, we start falling. As we fall forward we learn to catch ourselves by moving a leg forward. In fact, we get so good at it that we no longer consider it falling, we consider it walking. But if you think about it, you’re really purposefully putting yourself into a position of needing to do something or landing on the floor.
We’re redeeming our fall. We’re redeeming ourselves and continuing our direction by putting out our foot into the direction that we want to go and thus keeping ourselves upright.
The human condition is one of constant correction.
Some believe this goes much deeper than an ongoing correction, clear to the root of spirituality. For Christians, we’re born into a life of sin and it’s only through the grace of God that we are able to have salvation.
Salvation and redemption are closely linked.
Let’s apply this to persuading the affluent. We – the affluent, all of us – have as a root of our psychology the need to redeem ourselves and to allow others to be redeemed.
What does this all presuppose?
In order to have redemption, must there not first be a judgment of right or wrong? I believe there does.
So the word redemption presupposes a judgment. First and foremost, something went wrong. Then there was a judgment that it went wrong, and then a desire not to repeat it and to move forward.
So as the timeline progresses, the word redemption moves from a judgment to an action that allows us to repair what went wrong and caused the judgment of wrong to be applied.
The best part, and in this Michael Vick is very lucky, is that wherever there’s redemption, there’s opportunity. He may not have the same opportunities he had before, but there’s certainly an opportunity for growth, a chance to excel and create a new paradigm. And wherever there is a new paradigm on the inside, there will truly be a shift of experience on the outside.
It’s incredibly interesting and educational for us as persuaders to examine these current events, scandals, and the like to see just how much persuasion is involved in everyday life.
What are your thoughts about the Michael Vick story? What about other stories in the media? I enjoy hearing from you and I value the exchange of ideas on this blog. So, post your thoughts here, and remember to rate this article by clicking on the stars at the top below the title.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland