Geoffrey Jones
Days Gone By

When I was a kid, one of the great western shows I watched was about Annie Oakley, the famous sharpshooter. Annie was played by an actress named Gail Davis. One of Annie’s famous sayings was “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

I think this is actually a very Christian approach. Perhaps close to what was meant by “If a man steal your cloak, give him your coat also.”

The bottom line of this wisdom is that when bad acts spawn more bad acts evil only increases. The buck has to stop somewhere.

It seems like a big risk not to resist evil. And yet it is amazing how often doing the better way pays off.

Many times hard feelings can escalate from nothing more than a bad mood or a headache. The person who is upset or hurting snaps at the other person and pretty soon the battle is on.

“Good catch” is a common sports term. Whether applied to catching a baseball or making right an oversight or error. It’s a term that is equally applicable to our daily lives. If we slowly build the habit of catching ourselves in thoughtless speech and emotion how much richer life becomes. How much more pride we can take in our thinking when it includes good sized helpings of tolerance and forgiveness.

So next time I’m overtired or uncomfortable and inclined to be short with a friend I’m going to think of Annie Oakley. Whether the saying came from the original Annie herself, or the writers for that show, it was a good one.