On Courage and Truth (March 17, 2008)
Ernest Hemingway’s description of “courage” as “grace under pressure” is popularly invoked, although he provides a more accurate definition of “poise.” Courage is a decision to do something that needs to be done or to say something that needs to be said even if it is not likely to be successful or well-received. Political courage is a decision to do something or say something that is in the greater interest even if it is not in the individual’s interest. No one seeks to pursue something that is not in one’s interest and is likely to fail. But courage happens.
Find the Truth and it shall set you free, they say. Not really. Find the Truth and you may be imprisoned. The Truth often terrifies. Most people do not lead lives of quiet desperation, but they do go to the grave with the song still in them. They lead lives of quiet delusion and refuse to sing or shout out the Truth before they go to the grave. Getting through the day is not easy. Overlooking or disregarding the Truth is the path of least resistance.
[With a nod to Montaigne’s essais.]
Bumper stickers of the week:
Ne sois pas decourage
No se desanime