“Hi-yo, Silver! Away!”

Lone-Ranger_320“[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them;otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.  Matthew 6:1-4

One of my favorite childhood characters was The Lone Ranger.  I watch with anticipation each week as the masked man and his faithful companion Tonto fought to right some wrong in the old west, only to leave town before anyone could thank them.

That was my favorite part of the show, and every show ended the same way.  The Lone Ranger wasn’t interested in accolades, trophies, or banquets in his honor.  He was only interested in fighting for law and order in the wild, wild west. When he fired his gun, he never aimed to kill, always to bring the bandit in with the least amount of force necessary. Not to mention,  silver bullets were very expensive!

When the writers of the show developed the characters, they purposely wrote a creed that the Lone Ranger and Tonto took very seriously.  Even the television actors, wanting to be good role models for children in the 1950’s, took their positions seriously and tried to live their lives accordingly.

Superman, Zorro, and other fictional characters in the 1950 followed this same code.  Star athletes back then credited their teammates, coaches, fans, anyone but themselves for their success.  They were humble in their success, and lived their lives by a strict code of conduct.

What has happened since then?  Now, not a week goes by that we don’t have some awards show on television, honoring people for simply doing what they do, well. The Lone Ranger did it without accolades.  Celebrities donate money to charity in return for getting their name on a building or project.  And athletes, instead of thanking their teammates, thump their chest with their very own victory dance of, it was all me!

The powerful impact of these fictional characters still resonates with me, even today.

Forget about applause, honors, or awards. Do great things simply because it’s the right thing to do! Tony Agnesi

Doing the right thing, moral codes, ethics, almsgiving, are all tenants of what it is to be a good Christian, a follower of Christ.  When Jesus performed a miracle, he asked those involved to tell no one.  He never stuck around long enough for a banquet in his honor.

That is what Christ is asking of us, simply to do things because they are the right thing to do.  Help people in need, when no one is watching.  Give money to a street beggar, or a family member in a bind, or a charity that does great work, not for the praise, but because the cause is right and just.

I can see it now, as clearly as when I was a kid.  Someone will ask, “Who was that masked man?”  And in a loud, clear voice, in front of my 21-inch RCA, black and white television, I would reply, “That was The Lone Ranger!”

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