Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Difference Between Courage and Cowardice

--> I’ve spend my adult life in the profession of arms.  I was not in the direct line of enemy fire as so many have been, but then I was not always behind a desk, pushing papers from the in-basket to the out-basket either.  When I was called on to put the needs of the nation before my personal safety I did not hesitate.  I say this not to imply I was courageous, or heroic, but rather to explain it was my job, I had trained for such a potential and was confident in my abilities and the abilities of those who I flew with.  We were the right people for the mission, with the best tools and skills available.  To a man. none of us considered not going.

This same attitude is true for almost all the men and woman who accept the responsibility of military service.  They may not understand this on their first days, but as they learn to perform their jobs, they grow to trust their friends, and if necessary they accept the risk incumbent in their mission.  Hopefully the officers, and senior non-commissioned officers, they follow will be equally well prepared, and up to the responsibilities they have for the care of the lives they lead.

As I watch our society evolve I am struck by how little the average young person understands the thin line between courage and cowardice.  For it is a thin line between standing firm and bending to the popular positions, withholding your opinion until you have the full story or jumping on board with a riotous mob, between condemning the dead when it serves only to satisfy a personal agenda and moving on to more important issues.

Should we accept the words of people who lack the courage to be honest when it counts, or who defend their morally bankrupt positions because it is the politically expedient thing to do? 

I was reminded just today that Facebook is a vehicle where those who think themselves safe behind some anonymous profile can spew forth hate and vile they would unlikely have the courage to do face to face, where the consequences would be immediate.  These people are not courageous at all, in fact they are just the opposite.

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