Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why? Benedict Arnold. Why?


From the Library of Congress Online Library
On October 11 1776, Brigadier General Benedict Arnold fought as a brave, American hero against the British.

Although the mighty British fleet had defeated fifteen American ships in this battle, Benedict Arnold made them work for their victory. More than two long days of battle at sea dragged by, allowing American forces time to set up ground forces on New York shores. 

A year before Benedict met this same British captain in another battle. Benedict had been wounded but went on to fight. His career had been glowing with patriot heroism. 

He felt might proud of himself and although he received pats on the back and other forms of kudos, it wasn't enough. The commander over him took the reward money and the honor which belonged to him. He was a hero. He had great battle strategies. He executed the plans with fortitude and bravery. He certainly deserved much more...much more than what had been given.

Greed and anger grew in his heart.  Thoughts like, Why did I not receive riches and honor. I deserve more. If it were not for me we would still be under the king' of England's rule roamed in his mind.

As each year passed his name faded from the news. Apparently the colonies did not appreciate his work. Well, if that was the case, then maybe they didn't need him after all. 

While serving as commander of West Point in 1780, Benedict Arnold attended a meeting with the British and agreed to surrender our valuable Hudson River fort to the British for 20,000 pounds. The arrest of a British spy revealed Benedict's traitorous choice.

And now his name, Benedict Arnold, is synonymous for the word traitor.

What a legacy to leave.

Why did he do it? Anger. Greed. Selfish gain. Spotlight.

Judas Iscariot had the same problem. Selected as one of the twelve, he trained with the Lord himself. Giving up all, he became a traitor for thirty pieces of silver. 

We probably have all had at least one moment in the spotlight, if only in our family. When the attention turned away from us how did we handle it? 

What ways have you used to keep the greed monster away?

1 comment:

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