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Saturday, May 28, 2005


Brenda Friedrich

I appreciate your perspective on heroism. It seems that the difference between an active hero and passive one might often ve one of circumstance. IE, Just by living in sync with my values, I may be a hero some people just by helping an elderly neighbor shovel his walk (doing what most people would do). But, at some point in time, I might be called to respond in an active manner, say rescue my neighbor from a burning house. I really haven't changed, nor have my values. Just the circumstances.
Good topic for discussion!

David McClure

Actually John i don't think it's a stretch at all... the point being even though sometimes folks in the military may become injured or die in battle, their sacrifice isn't often an active choice. Quite the contrary, many young men & women who signed up for the military had no idea they might be off to Iraq (certainly not many of the reservists) and be in the line of fire. So like i said, although their actions may indeed be heroic (at least for some, i'm sure that's the case) they aren't all that likely to be making an active choice. For those few who really DO know they are likely to be giving up their life or limb, and still choose to do so anyway... well indeed those folks probably are heroes.

In any case, my point was more about the passive vs active part, not the heroism itself.


Bit of a stretch to qualify the efforts of military personnel who do things like run into the line of fire to protect fellow units or regularly patrol known terrorist sectors, just because they enlisted. And then in the same breath, praise Gates, the wealthiest man in the world, as a "true hero" because of what? Because he gave some of the $ back. Be mindful charity isn't always what it seems. Reducing personal tax liability, acquiring "soft power" or influence in the community or with policymakers, public relations and management of the media, and pure and simple ego (e.g., historical legacy) all play into these contributions. And your wife may not have been a hero per se but rather a romantic of sorts. Don't confound the two.


Great post and concepts! Actually found your blog two months ago when I was googling for some information about Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen bank...

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