Wanted: Bravery

Rigidity is the enemy of outreach. Such rigidity functions as a needless insurance policy that no one will step outside of the deep, dark lines that divide us from one another. Divisions like this live on because someone perceives them as a benefit.

As with many forms of obedience, fear is the ritual punisher. One group seeks to keep another population group in line, rejecting any messy mix-up of ideas, emotions, thinking, and action. Individuals who step outside the lines are threatened with ostracism from the in-group. Leaders of that group maintain their position when people obey their desires.

Outreach, on the other hand, expresses hope that there is common ground to be discovered. Extending one’s hand to another person is the beginning of a relationship that transcends the boundaries keeping us from our best selves.

Local, national, and international communities now face a difficult environment that encourages walls between groups of people. Members of isolated and restricted communities are encouraged to keep to themselves and work against joining others, ostensibly to maintain purity of thought. Such a goal can work against a deeper and more vital humanity that each community and individual requires for life and sustenance.

The era of bravery is upon us. Doing justice to our humanity necessitates resisting the temptation to take the easy way out. Speaking out against the status quo, be that a particular law that reduces the quality of life for residents, or even threatens their survival, takes courage. Having been programmed away from expressing oneself honestly, many residents carry a palpable fear of coming forward with their true beliefs. The collective impact on a general refusal to argue against harmful policies and practices can be dire. The loss of position, community esteem, professional regard, and personal security keeps many of us in our place.

Who loses when most of us are afraid? All of us. Who wins when we remain that way? Very few of us.

Whether mass shootings, bombings, sexually-motivated crimes, or other disastrous acts of terror, each person who lives in a community and society needs to share the truth, declare the violation, and express the will to craft solutions with others. None of us is immune.

The struggle against acceptance of the unacceptable means our voices are needed. Our actions are required. Our clarity must be conveyed. Never has the bravery to speak up, speak out, and act been more necessary for ourselves and our fellow humans.

© 2016 Work. Transformed.