Tag Archives: courage

No longer the ‘…Home of the Brave’?

Necessity does the work of courage -- Geroge Eliot1

Brave“. What does that word even mean anymore?

Yet again, behavior which was once the hallmark of our nation is being eradicated. We’ve touched on this in the past (in “Land of the Fearful; Home of the Meek), but the examples keep coming, with no end in sight. In a different time, the people listed below would be considered “brave” or “courageous” by almost any measure.

But today?

Well, do you recall the story of 20-year-old volunteer EMT Stephen Sawyer? He was the only one around when a call came in about a 4-year-old who was having a seizure:

(via Fox News) – “…After making several unsuccessful calls for ambulances, Sawyer said he made the decision to drive the ambulance to save the child – violating the rule that only people age 21 or older can drive the emergency vehicle…” 

And what was Sawyer’s reward for saving the child?

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Where Action is Needed, Merely Thinking About it is Inadequate

Bonhoeffer's cell at Tegel prison, a 7' x 10' room where he spent 18 months.

Bonhoeffer’s cell at Tegel prison, a 7′ x 10′ room where he spent 18 months.

“We have learned a bit too late in the day that action springs not from thought but from a readiness for responsibility.”

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer,  Letters and Papers from Prison

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Every night for a week I have sat in a darkened room and watched dramatized events from the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in our theatre company‘s production of The Beams are Creaking. For the past two months I’ve been judging each inflection, movement, gesture, costume piece, prop, stick of furniture, lighting and sound cue. I have heard the words but I have not had leisure to really listen and contemplate.

But tonight, relaxing into our second public performance, I had more brain room to soak in the theatrical experience of watching–through the eyes of one family–the disintegration of the country they love, and the radical steps they ultimately take to try to save it.

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