Friday, May 19, 2006

Courage

It all comes down to courage . . .

If you have courage, then you're willing to face that really stinky mess in the garage and clean it up.

You have faith you can clean it up, because you've cleaned up other really stinky messes, or seen other people do it. In other words, you have faith because you have experience of succeeding in the past.

Now Americans don't have much faith that we can throw out a bunch of murdering, psychotic tyrants (excuse my French). Why? Because we don't have experience succeeding against such people.

Sure, the Founding Fathers threw out the British; but that was WAY back in the day, hundreds of years before we were born. French revolution? Ancient history, and different country. WWII? Still generations back for many of us, and that was different. The WWII generation was fighting "the good war", and never knew that our own government probably let Pearl Harbor be attacked in order to justify the U.S. entry into WWII to help out the British. So we have no experience of having really stood up to tyrants.

Fat and Happy

Moreover, we Americans have led a very pampered life for the past couple of decades. Sure, there has been inequality and exploitation, and some have had it a lot worse than others. But, other than stopping extreme forms of racism (Ku Klux Klan, etc.), we haven't had to defend our borders or our liberties.

Basically, we complain if our tv goes on the fritz, or our team loses the game, or we can't afford that new, nicer whatzit, or if our boss is mean. We think those are big, Earth-shattering, history-changing events. But they are quite small in the grand scheme of things

And even those of us who think of ourselves as brave heroes usually only act like that when we know it is within the bounds of safety, within the limits of what we can handle. "Tough guys" tend to turn into meek mice whenever they are really threatened.

So we're basically lazy and timid, but we don't know or admit it. We like to pretend we are like the Founding Fathers or John Wayne (at least the cowboys had to rough it a little).

But we have no experience of successfully standing up to tyrants, so we have no faith that it can be done, and while the evidence is right before our noses that our current leaders are tyrants, we're so terrified that we have our knickers in a bunch.

What Would They Do?

Even if you haven't experienced success in standing up to tyrants, remember that the Founding Fathers did just that. They were just men, not gods. Sure, they were too persistent and stubborn to give up, but that's because they CARED about something: freedom.

They may have lived hundreds of years before our time, but that doesn't matter -- we can still learn from their experience as if it were happening now. Time is an illusion, since human nature is the same now as it was then. Just as many people of faith ask "what would Jesus do?", we can also ask "what would the founding fathers do?" If they could do it, we can do it.

Take Heart

There is a real misunderstanding of what it means to be courageous. In America, courage is often thought of as a testosterone-driven toughness. There's nothing the matter with testosterone. Masculinity is a great thing. But many American men secretly fear that they don't have sufficient testosterone to really be brave when the chips are down. As I said above, even those of us who think of ourselves as brave men usually only act like that when we know it is within the bounds of safety, within the limits of what we can handle.

We might jump in a bar room brawl to protect our buddy, but that's because we know we're only going to get knocked around a little bit -- nothing but bruises that will go away in a little while. The stakes just aren't that high.

But most American men secretly doubt whether they are macho enough to pull it off under fire. They may watch alot of action movies, and talk tough, and stand up when its not really dangerous (or when they clearly outgun the other guy), but they are secretly terrified that they don't have quite enough backbone to pull it off against the big boys, such as tyrants.

I would argue that this view fundamentally misunderstands the nature of courage, and ensures that we will never have true courage when it counts.

By way of analogy, the word "discipline" comes from "disciple". If you are a true "disciple" of an idea of a plan or a strategy or a religion, then you will stick to it and "have discipline" to reach your goal. It is not just a matter of willpower; it is also devotion to something bigger than ourselves.

Similarly, the word "courage" comes from the French "with heart". Why does it have this root meaning? Because it takes heart to act bravely. That's how my childhood Karate teacher used the word: when I was practicing with courage, power and focus, he would say "you have alot of heart today" (indeed, many old-school warriors use the phrase "fighting with heart" in that way).

If courage is acting "with heart", we've lost heart. And without heart, we cannot face the truth of 9/11, or lying to start wars, or vote fraud, or fascism, or torture, or dictatorship.

So how do we regain our heart? Well, let's start with what gets our hearts beating.

Remember that the mother bear is one of the fiercest animals of all. Just get between a mother bear and her cub and you'll see what I mean. It is her love of her cub which gives her the heart to face any enemy when her cub is threatened. It is not her level of testosterone, but rather her love for her cub which makes her so fierce.

Just as discipline is more than just willpower, courage stems from something bigger than just cajones. In fact, the strongest courage comes from the love of something we care about, since our heart will sustain us even when the chips are really down and we are really up against a tyrant. As the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said: "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. "

In addition, we're no longer living in the old west. Individualism is very important in numerous ways, but we can only win against the tyrants as a team, as a community, as a nation. And only by opening our hearts to what matters will we be able to work together, to fight for all of our kids, and all of our freedom. Only then will we be able to put the tyrants back in the box.

Do we care about our kids, our significant others, our parents, our friends? Do we care about the freedom to choose what we want, instead of having our "great leader" choose for us?

If not, what DO we care about? Because if that is where your heart is, that is what will give you courage.

Even if you are driven by greed, then -- unless you directly make your living from the defense or oil industries (the two sectors profiting wildy under the current administration) -- you have motive to restore democracy to our country.

I care too much about my kids and my freedom to be afraid. I care enough about them that it gets my heart beating, connects me to something bigger than myself, and that gives me courage, even when the chips are down.

Courage is an innate human quality. It is within each of us, waiting to reveal itself when we open our hearts. When we act with heart, by definition, we are courageous.

Those who would trade safety for freedom deserve neither.
– Thomas Jefferson

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
- Hellen Keller

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
- Goethe


Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
- Ambrose Redmoon

Courage is an everyday thing. When we look reality squarely in the eye and refuse to back away from our awareness, we are living courage.
- Anonymous

To have courage for whatever comes in life - everything lies in that.
- Mother Teresa

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
- Robert F . Kennedy

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
- Seneca, Native American

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.
- Aristotle

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.
- John Wayne

Courage is doing what your afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.
- Eddie Rickenbacker

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.
- George Patton


One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

Within each of us is a hidden store of energy. Energy we can release to compete in the marathon of life Within each of us is a hidden store of courage. Courage to give us the strength to face any challenge Within each of us is a hidden store of determination. Determination to keep us in the race when all seems lost.
- Roger Dawson

We must never despair; our situation has been compromising before; and it changed for the better; so I trust it will again. If difficulties arise; we must put forth new exertion and proportion our efforts to the exigencies of the times.
- George Washington

We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.
-Sonia Johnson

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead





22 Comments:

Blogger PozDevil said...

"We have the truth and we have each other." David Ray Griffin

12:47 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Good Blog...it is true, we have never had to stand up to tyrants...but we are learning quickly...it isn't easy...

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The enemy has got a powerful tool, and that is to get on your TV screen by killing innocent people" George Bush, on Hardball

namaste2you

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first step in conquering injustice is to 'name' it.

In this case, I would start with naming who is controling the media. And I would formulate laws that would break up this cartel.

We probably already have laws on the books against media cartels, if the crooks haven't taken them off as prelude to their criminal complicity,

We must take back the media.

7:27 PM  
Blogger qrswave said...

Nice piece, George.

Anon, 1:14pm: you hit the nail right on the head. The media is destroying our nation - literally right before our eyes.

Their stranglehold MUST be dismantled if we are to survive as human beings with our dignity and our freedom intact.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Andrew Lowe-Watson said...

I don't know how to praise you writing except to call it Churchillian, and that is the highest praise I as a Brit can give. I read your columns annd think what a waste your thunderous words are not being seen by millions in a newspaper where they deserve to be. At times ths movement makes me despair with its infighting and doubters, but your blog is a shining light.
What is it you say then? Way to go!

8:46 PM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Excellent post.
Michael Moore had it right a couple of Oscars ago when he said we're living in a make believe country with a make believe president. I'd add with make believe courage, and it does take real courage to squarely face these insane days. But people are living their lives like puffed up balloons, prick 'em a little bit and they'll deflate before your eyes.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading this expanded my chest for the first time in ages, and I breathed deeply from a place I had long forgotten.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First thing, it ain't the garage that needs cleaning. NAFTA is proof that America gets first pick and we get what is left over. My own 'civil' country (Canada) has been blackmailed by your corporations and politicians so many times it's hard to see America as a friend with all them holes in our backs. With friends like you that splatter 3 year old little Iraqi girls blood on their walls one day and listen to you complain that Mexican's are also the enemy. Who needs enemies?
Shit, America is it's own worst enemy.
Bush is the right man, in the right place and at the right time in your history.
The perfect rep for the US idiot box generation.

By the way, your fucking government still owes us a billion dollars for unpaid lumber that my country delivered to you.
Pay up ya fucking cheap shits!!

1:06 AM  
Anonymous jb said...

Gummint

The refuge of scoundrels.

Your local cop is your local tyrant--try telling him/her you are a free person and not subject to their arbitrariness, and see what happens.

That Americans do not understand that they already live under "tyranny" should be a credit to the men and women who extort almost three TRILLION dollars from us, as we accept such utter nonsense as legitimate.

The media is merely a mindless accomplice--they report shit, we believe shit, and shit happens. Who controls the media?

We do, because we accept what they say. There is nothing "Churchillian" about it for anyone who truly knows European history . . . he was merely a drunk war-mongerer whom America could have ignored to its immense benefit.

Churchill and Moore are comrades--both have advocated socialism, and the Brits have it in full, while the socialist Moore has yet to convince most Americans of the lunacy of the idiocy of Marx.

That any of you believe that "government" is a solution to ANYTHING betrays your inabilty to think for yourself.

There is NO POLITICAL SOLUTION.

Get it?

:-) jb

1:44 AM  
Blogger Bert said...

'Courage'. I differ with some of the commentary, while we may not live in the old west, there's much to be learned from the pioneers and people like the Amish, who chose to NOT live the way 'modern' americans live, with all the bells, whistles and trappings of convenience. Today, we live in a mental trap of convenience, we do things not because they're difficult, but because they're convenient. Try and get someone to park their car and walk 2 blocks they don't have to. Good luck. They'll double park and sneer at you for complaining. We've gotten fat, dumb, and lazy, and we take it all for granted. The basic assumption is 'we're entitled' to whatever, and that if we don't get what we want, someone's holding out on us. Our social core has been programmed, largely by television, but also by peers, into thinking that we will recieve what we believe we're entitled to, or else it's up to the Government to get it for us. Decades of politicians' promises have reinforced this attitude, and it's one that needs to be dropped. That's not courage, though, that's common sense. REAL courage is taking your own initiative, and bypassing those making the lofty promises, and going out and securing those blessings of liberty for YOURSELF. The future's out there, if you want it, now go get it.

4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Courage. Do not see it around anymore. Here's a banned book. Have some courage and check it out called "America Deceived" by E.A. Blayre III, banned by Amazon & B&N because it deals harshly with ED Hill and Kiran Chetry. (on Google books also)

http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

4:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Courage If you don't already know who controls the media,,Go to "Who Rules America" on Google and read all of the Bios of the powers that be.. Then check out the power positions in DOD< PENTAGON, WH CABINET,,, IT may occur to you at this point......

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The American people are pacified, and will not react in a revolutionary fashion until the truth finally HITS HOME. The saying, "Things will get worse before they get better" is an unfortunate truth here in America, and until people see their friends or relatives get hauled off to FEMA camps against their will, I am afraid the truth will not be fully realized by the majority of the people.

The problem is that Americans have been taught selfishness and individualism from childhood, to look out for Number One and to help others only when it is convenient for themselves or if it benefits them personally. They care little or nothing about others unless there is a natural disaster and they are motivated to help by emotion-laden public service announcments. Americans don't give a rat's ass about much of anything, so it will require something VERY SERIOUS to get them to care about others. Simply TELLING Americans to have courage is useless----Americans need to be put through HELL like they've never been before.

The simple, hard, cold truth is that when comfort and security has been your lifelong narcotic, a generous helping of being put through the same shit as people in Romania, East Germany, Bosnia, El Salvador, Guatemala, the former Zaire, Zimbabwe, East Timor, and Iraq and Afghanistan may very well be the only way Americans will EVER wake up and understand what must be done.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Ron said...

Some very good words in your blog. Unfortunately, that's about all they amount to. America, founded on the principle of 'Don't tread on me' et. al. has done nothing but that to countless peoples and countries since its inception. America very nearly eradicated the North American Indian to establish the U.S. Guns and cannon against spear and tomahawk. Pretty couragous. And de-populating the African continent so that Americans did not have to pick their own cotton was pretty couragous too. Since then America has used her unsurpassed military strength to couragously take whatever she wanted from whomever had it. Your sacred right to bear arms hasn't seemed to accomplish what it was meant to either. Other than to re-inforce the notion that a couragous man with a gun can take whatever he wants. (By the way, the British no longer have any plans to invade the U.S. They gave that up in 1814). More recently, on 9/11, almost 3,000 innocents were murdered. Murdered. And very probably by your very own government. As a result, a sovereign nation was illegally (sorry, meant to say 'couragously') invaded, her people subjugated, her infrastructure destroyed, and countless thousands murdered. Murdered. For what? So you can drive around in your 3 miles per gallon Humvee looking couragous. At some point in the future Americans are going to need real courage. And not the kind of courage that emanates from the barrel of a gun. I hope that day is soon.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post but you are leading up to one option and one option only and that is
revolution. The courage you are looking for is the courage to accept all the
chaos, danger and uncertainty that a revolution brings. The courage to put
yourself and your children in harms way. Who here has this?

Courage is born from desperation. This is not the culture of desperation that
has devolved with commercial media but an immediate life threatening desperation
that does not compromise action with politeness. Desperation that does not put
your child in harms way but comes with a recognition that your child is in
harms way. Who here has that?

Who has the courage to admit that the only authority that anoints the federal
government with it's power is 'we, the people' and that now, 'we, the people'
have more in common with 'they, the people' who are bombed and tortured then our own or any government.

Who has the courage to fight for what government policies only feign: world democracy is not the relationship between the world's governments but between the world's people because all of us, everywhere, are born with rights not given by any government but by the f(F)orce of c(C)reation itself, to which all legitimate governments must either remain absolutely subjugated or be removed.

Wars of genocide are being huckstered as wars of defense. "Our troops" are being
used as the human shields while we are being betrayed and robbed to service
vile, inhumane greed, all in the name of patriotism.

The kleptocratic oligarchy must be brought down and it's system obliterated.
It's criminal 'real politik', it's humanless institutions and it's arcane
philosophies must be pruned off as disease.

Who has the courage to do this? One way or another, it will come to all of us.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Media control:
Colin Powell's son Michael was making sure big media had it's way as Chairman of the FCC prior to 2001, they read the Tyrant 101 Handbook (which you can buy at Barnes & Noble, right next to David Ray Griffins table!)chapter on "control the media, and you control the masses"...

Wellstone had courage:
Run for congress, mayor, tax collector...whatever...use truth to build support...here's how
http://www.wellstoneaction.com/

namaste2you

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Courage is required. Freedom, Liberty and Equality. Truth and Justice.
This is about Good Vs Evil.
The powerful Truth is on the side of Good.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheney And Bush Just Too Busy With The Hard Work Of Sending Our Familys Off To Fight And Die In Illegal Wars On Behalf Of Their Big Oil And Weapons Cronies While Invading Our Privacy And Shredding Our Constitution To Accept And Distribute 10's Of Millions Of Dollars In Katrina Aid Offered By Our Closest Allies

=*=

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said , i don't think we're gonna evolve from a testosterone driven nation for a while. it seems like the socially accepted norm.

http://thetlab.com

1:30 AM  
Blogger mario100mb said...

Yes this is all about Hope, Courage and the fire of truth and Honesty in you!

You are speaking from my hard and I can identify my self with what you are saying!
I worked 25 years and saved for an early retirement followed all the Government laws paid tax for every cent I made!
Now you got some criminal corrupters which are trying to take 25 years of my live and intentionally destroy my future!
I am fighting 8 totally corrupt people all by my self and the battle is going on for the last 4 years and I will die for what I believe is right!
Sound stupid to die for something you believe is right; maybe but nothing could be worse to see the criminals getting away with there crimes and you end up losing your honest believes and respect to your self!
Should I succeed with this it will not be the material part I end up with which will make me happy; No I will be so proud to show this organized evil how powerful Honesty is!
I did something really crazy and prepared my plan to offered my life to the president of the representing country to execute me by his own hands in front of the public; to show all that I am the one who is wrong to stand up for what is right! At least I would die with Honor and my father could be proud of me getting executed by the President personally!

But my action got blocked by the police because I stated my intention in detail and tried to register my silent demonstration to the police to follow the law procedure if you plan to Demonstrate!
Strangely enough the police helped me and I ended up with people who are now trying to solve my problem by the law and in a respectful way!
That’s what it is all about I like to receive respect from the people with suppose to implement the written law and if it is me who deserves the death penalty for standing up for what is right so be it! But at least I die with honor!

I have big hope that my problem gets finally solved in a good way!
My problem now is in the final stage to be resolved but I am always critical and I promise you all; if these criminals still try to trick me you will hear about me in the News!
I reported my entire situation to a friend I have in the Press with all my documents and specific instruction as followed!
No matter what would happened first should anyone tries or succeed to kill me ore I take my own life this would be directly related to my situation no matter what! Should this situation becomes reality I ordered them to publish my story worldwide and that I like to be buried with the Countries local flag on top of me!
Also I informed my Lawyer about my instruction to the Press but he does not know who the person is!

I for warned the Police that I give specific instruction to the press should anything happens to me!

I don’t know if this would work for you but why don’t you give the President your requests of implementations or else you offer your life together with your wife and children to your president; with the request that the president will give you the Honor to be kill by his own hands in front of the public!
Or do you have a law which would not allow you to offer you’re self to the President so you could die with Honors and not in wane!

I really hope you all will find the Courage before it is to late; defend the truth, Honesty and your God given life!

6:40 AM  
Blogger patriot said...

the quest for truth about 9/11 has finally spread out here to santa cruz, ca. it has taken some time, but the "official story" is unraveling. the governmnet is now attempting to censor and control the web's contents. it is also making a push to equate 9/11 truth research with cyber-terrorism. it won't be too long before this thing really explodes in our country. keep up the good work george!

8:00 AM  

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