Posts Tagged ‘courage’

Peace Activism Takes Courage

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Former soldier Clancy Sigal shares an inspiring piece called In a War-Loving Society, Peace Activism Takes a Lot of Guts and Bravery. In it, the author describes his newfound affinity for peace activists, writing:

Over time, my attitude to conscientious objectors and deserters has shifted. Once, I held them in contempt. But the Vietnam war, when I came into contact with war resisters, changed me. I saw then, and see now, that often it takes a different kind of moral and, yes, even physical courage to resist a call to serve your country in a war you believe is a crime, when all your family, friends, teachers and the vast American majority support joining up.

But what about those “cowards”, “traitors” and “slackers” who don’t want to kill other people? They’re an odd breed who count among their number such as Muhammad Ali, Mahatma Gandhi, Sergeant York, David Hockney, three US weapon-refusing combat medics who won the medal of honour, and the 27 Israeli air force pilots who refused orders to “track and kill” civilians in Gaza and the West Bank.

I continue to be amazed at the stupendous bravery of any currently serving soldier or marine… but what kind of guts does it take for war objectors, who simply don’t want to kill?

Sigal offers a refreshing perspective. All too often, individuals who stand against war can be labelled pussies, cowards and traitors. But really, if the majority of the people around you are beating the drums of war, it is actually courageous to go against the grain and stand up for one’s beliefs, knowing full well you might face the scorn of your peers.

The road to war is well worn, so oft traveled by us humans. The path to peace, on the other hand, is rough in some areas and uncharted in others. This means that those of us who dare to wage peace must act as pioneers, beating the way towards a brighter future that, right now, exists only in our heads.


Assange on Al J

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Julian Assange – one of the world’s greatest threats to tyranny – spent some time with Sir David Frost of Al Jazeera. If 24 minutes is too long for you, here’s a summary of the best parts:

  • Courage is contagious. When individuals stand up for what they feel is right, their actions will inspire others to do the same.
  • People who reveal abuses by governments and other powerful groups are helping to create a more just civilization.
  • The struggle towards open governance is an important part in holding authorities accountable to the public they serve.