What does it mean to be brave? If it is situational, what do these times demand? If it is universal, how are we called to show up?
It feels - absurd! ridiculous! tragicomic! - to ask that question while a war rages, while people are still dying in a pandemic, from a place of relative privilege and safety and comfort. But then there is always a war. (Oceania really has always been at war with Eastasia)
There is always an opportunity to demonstrate courage. Or better, to decide not to be a coward.
The ability to experience what is happening everywhere in the world not just in “CNN international correspondent time”, but in real-time, constantly, filtered and unfiltered, in black and white and colour, in TikToks and in tweets, has not at all been matched by our ability to process all of it.
If we could do one brave thing today, not for ourselves but for someone other, what would that look like? How many acts of courage would it take to match this moment?
It is so easy to choose what we tell ourselves is neutrality.
I say: How is this my concern? I’m a spectator
He says: No spectators at chasm’s door ... and no
one is neutral here. And you must choose
your part in the end
So I say: I’m missing the beginning, what’s the beginning?
— from I Have a Seat in the Abandoned Theater by Mahmoud Darwish