Being brave

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”

I have written a many times that using social tools at work, and reaping their benefits by sharing ideas and opinions, calls for small acts of bravery.

But it is not just at work that we need to be brave.

I shared a couple of stories yesterday. One was about Emma Watson being bullied for sharing her views. In a comment on the other (which asked why the middle class weren’t rioting about dodgy financial practice) Anne McCrossan expressed the thought that the middle classes are not speaking out because of the fear of being monitored online.

Caving in to bullies, whether hackers in hoodies or the state wearing suits, is a really slippery slope. We can’t let others constrain our ability to say what we think in public. Each time we keep our mouths shut out of fear we let ourselves and others down.

History has shown us that small, apparently inocuous, compromises can allow dreadful things to happen.

2 thoughts on “Being brave

  1. I like that quote and looked for the original source. It’s attributed to Edmund Burke but disputed. Whomever coined it it they reflected a particularly nasty dilemma for us as "evil" does not sit idle while we think about whether we do or do not but pokes at our weak spots.

    I also like Burke’s phrase "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion" and I think that also speaks to your point if we think of liberty as the right to speak our mind. It’s the delusions we suffer to believe that robs us of our will to speak and act. I know I often feel that way.

    Knowing what we know about psychology it’s important that people are willing to stand out and speak their mind, to be brave as you put it. It’s funny timing that I was writing just yesterday in a comment to a post Elmine wrote on Facebook about the web going backwards: we need more voices that can lead us back to something better.

    I realise now that when blogging was the thing to do by the time I found the sharp edge of my voice I had also found a lot of other people finding their voice and – I think – it made us brave together. Now mostly what we hear from Twitter and Facebook is chatter, not voices.

    This just reminds me what I know so well already: blog as much as you can. <sigh>

    Okay, I wish reading this back I seemed to have a clear point, but you triggered something so I’ll close by saying I agree 🙂


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