Friday, July 14, 2006

on courage

(I need to do some free thinking, so don't hold me liable for the direction of this meandering...)

[Unless you liked what he said]

{Or how about if it inspires them to some personal insight that confirms their own beliefs in a self-congratulatory, self-delusional epiphany?}

(What, like the way you're always impressing yourself?)

{Hrmph! I shall not dignify that!}

[I think he likes he likes to hear himself say, 'epiphany'. Like he's cultured or something.]


Whenever I take a fresh look at my values, there's this word "courage" that keeps popping up.

I guess because so much of what I see around me these days bespeaks an absence of courage.

To be sure, I have taken the easier road myself. Usually rationalized around what is the greater good vs. what is the most direct, moral course. (Ahh, when morals collide!) But when we interact with the wider world, we need mediators to help us understand:

Governments, representatives, journalism, public servants, etc.

There are lots of kinds of courage - the classic physical kinds, mental fortitude, faith...

The kind I long for is not a category, but an intention - to live up to our potential. To think of more than just our own little pile of gold. To believe in grand purposes and commit to doing better (Why is New Orleans a gaping pit? Where is our greatness that we have not the will to commit to fixing it, then finding the way?) Or to simply take more right paths than easy paths.

I will take the ring to Mordor, though I do not know the way."

~ Frodo Baggins

It seems that when you do the right thing, good things will happen. Cliche? Only to the extent of its confirmation.

So when I think of the intermediaries we rely on to help us, inform us or act for us I ask for some of this courage.

At this moment (and sadly most of the time) it is hard to know if our agencies of government are acting the way they ought to. When the pentagon is spending billions on public relations, when the executive contracts reports to surreptitiously report it's messages as their stories, and when we have a PR-driven "dialogue" with the public at which only pre-screen "loyal" American are allowed to attend and ask pre-screen (for loyalty) questions, one simply must wonder.

Who then represents us? Once upon a time, we though of the press as an agent of the people.

Well, that's a little more romantic than true.

How about a little journalistic courage? To tell the real story to the best of your understanding; To not worry about ratings or accusations?

Walter Pincus has a few words to this point. They are worth a read.


At 5:17 PM, Blogger Molecular Turtle said...

I think a thing even rarer than courage is honesty.

At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Ed H. said...

After your behavior on some Friday nights, I tend to forget that you aren't always crude! Very interesting read, Jer! (Yeah, I know, Matt was the crude one this last Friday.)

P.S. Frodo said "I will take the ring..." Sorry, minor typo gripe!

P.P.S. I have a new 'Picture of the Day' blog, in addition to my normal, infrequently updated one.

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...

Mo T - No arguments here.

Ed - Thanks for the corrdction. :-)

I am trying to be less crude (but not less farty). Ourageousness need not always be gross.


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