Courage in Conflict

“The hardest thing for us journalists to convey about the democracy movement sweeping the Middle East, from Libya to Iran, is the sheer courage on display” Nicholas D. Kristof status update on Facebook.

I have heard this from so many people who are on site in the countries where protests are taking place. My daughter, Annie writes on violence and martyrdom in her post from 2 days ago in  Some Thoughts Re: Humans & Violence & Uprising; another woman says this “They showed a video – the faces of the young people who were martyred in Tahrir.  We were weeping, praying for comfort for the families, and praying for the movement to continue.”

Still another person, potentially on the opposite side of the uprising says this: “Putting politics and Israel aside, the most impressive part of the events in Cairo was the fearlessness and courage of the protesting Egyptians.”*

Nicholas Kristof’s column yesterday “Watching Protesters Risk it All” is a passionate op-ed piece on what he has witnessed across the Middle East. His opening words voice the challenge of a journalist trying to articulate, as is their job, the scene through language that challenges us to come into, not stay detached from a situation. He goes on to say“But there’s one central element that we can’t even begin to capture: the raw courage of men and women — some of them just teenagers — who risk torture, beatings and even death because they want freedoms that we take for granted.”

Personally, it forces me into serious thought around courage in the face of attack, whether the attack be physical, verbal or written. Do I have what it takes to stand for what I believe, regardless of the outcome? I’m not sure I do and that is, and should be, troubling to me. Being a major people-pleaser, I tend to back off in the face of confrontation and conflict, only to regret that I was not bolder in using my words to voice my beliefs and opinion.

As an amateur blogger, with my limited words and voice, I urge you to think about these quotes, watch these videos, and no matter what your politics, think about courage in standing up for what you believe to be right and true.

Bloggers Note: The You Tube video linked above is a beautiful tribute – if you watch it and think it worthwhile, please pass on the link! Photo courtesy of Sarah Carr .


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