To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice. Confucius
Being called a coward is perhaps one of the most humiliating tags to be labeled with. Yet, if we look seriously at our own behavior and reactions, we will realize that more often than not, we exhibit our cowardly temperament many times in a day. Criticism about someone to others is the most common form of cowardice we display and each of us reading this post, is definitely guilty of this cowardice, me included. The fact that we are unable to stand up and express our criticism to the person who is being criticized poses the classic dilemma for many cowards; how do I boldly express myself and yet be away from the repercussions.
While cowardice is definitely a shameful tag, practicality demands that we are not foolhardy and rush into fighting and unequal battle. Often, it is muscle power, money power and raw political power that is the bane of society at large and the ordinary citizens can see the blatant misuse of power. Yet we as concerned citizens are reduced to the status of mute spectators, simply because the daring required to directly confront the wrong doers is completely disproportionate to our own personal strengths. It is stupidity to engage in a battle or confrontation of unequal strength for you will be vanquished easily. Does this mean what we have to walk around with the defeatist tag, the tag of being a loser or worse still being labeled a Coward?
When faced with a situation that demands our proactive intervention, we must prepare well, armed with facts and figures, analyze the situation, study the adversary’s strength and weakness and then strategically choose a course of action. It need not be direct confrontation but can be more subtle and subdued. Gathering public support through use of all communication media beginning with writing letters to the editor and giving out facts to the media will help gather momentum for the cause. As a catalyst of the momentum, you will be displaying exemplary courage, providing direction and unifying like minded forces. If you are not the catalyst, you can still be an active campaigner, supporter and disseminator of information.
Cowardice begins when we ignore the truth because it is inconvenient to us, it is reinforced when we back away from our moral and legitimate obligations and peaks when we side with the tyranny by our indifference or our rationalization or our conformity with the injustice, simply because it suits us at that moment.
Remember: The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.” Rollo May
Do you have a strong view point about certain political happenings or societal happenings, which you feel is irrational or taking place because of self centered / vested interests? Identify these and ask yourself how you can raise you voice / oppose the happening actively and not ignore it, because it doesn’t affect you at all.
As a citizen of the world you would definitely be concerned about climate change, global warming, environmental pollution, human rights violations, wars, hunger and disease around the world etc. Have you identified at least one amongst these as a cause for which you will work? If not, is it because none of these affect you and you don’t want to worry about them since in your opinion, these are problems about which you can do nothing? Can you take a membership to an organization concerned with any of these issues? Can you write letters to the editors on these, so as to get public support for it?
Plastics are a bane to environment, but the multinationals are still peddling their wares in plastic bottles/ containers etc. Can you boycott it? Can you campaign against it or support a campaign against it? Will you be able to stop using plastic bags? Can you encourage people to use cloth bags or are you ashamed to carry one yourself?
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