Jake DiMare wonders why there seems to be so many ways to rationalize cowardice.
Since I started writing for the Good Man Project I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to be a good man. Like, what are the qualities of goodness and masculinity which are important? I’ve yet to come out and create any kind of a list but today I am adding the first word: “Brave”.
Brave…As in, having or showing courage. Brave isn’t easy. Brave guys don’t stand by and watch, while a child is assaulted in the street. Brave also doesn’t mean ‘hero’. Brave is just brave and brave is the opposite of coward.
>There’s been a terrible fuss the last few days in the comment section of Mark Radcliffe’s article ‘Providence Girl Beaten While Neighbor Videotapes‘. I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully I might add, to get a fairly entrenched group of individuals in the comment section to understand my perspective. Essentially, my argument is it doesn’t really matter what it is you are afraid of. If the fear prohibits you from coming to the aid of someone who is being held down and assaulted, you are simply afraid.
“No, no, no…” they tell me. “You don’t understand…I wouldn’t interfere with a child being beaten in the street because I might be accused of rape (fear) or assault (fear). I might be physically harmed (fear) or suffer a financial setback (fear).”
Men (and women): Fear is fear. And a synonym for fear is cowardice. If you are afraid, fine. Own it. Most people are. But don’t try to pretend that if it was your kid, your brother, or your mother there on the ground, getting their ass kicked, you wouldn’t want someone to take action and come to their aid. Being afraid is human. It takes strength of character to overcome fear. It takes bravery to come to someone’s aid.
Good Men (and Women) are brave.
Photo courtesy of eatyourchildren