Write In Between

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- Barbara Nicolosi

[On the subject of Heroes]

Things That Are Not Heroic:

a) To have an illness. To be a victim. To have a bad hand dealt to you. HEROISM is in still serving others with an illness or bad thing.

b) To survive your own iniquity. (In the Bill Clinton sense. I heard a lady on TV say that she admired Clinton because he was "a survivor." Well, by that standard, you could admire roaches.) HEROISM for a person in habits of iniquity would be in full repentance, and in heading back into the sewer you once created to repair it.

c) It isn’t heroic to have a great talent or skill. To be able to run fast or sing well. It might be heroic to develop that talent to your utmost and at great price – as long as it is in response to the cosmos and not for your own glory.

d) It is not heroic to fight for the wrong thing. To build a business or buy a house or paint a fence or go on a trip or make a million dollars or win an award.

e) It is not heroic to fight using disproportionate means. Someone attacks your son, and you nuke their country. The whole vengeance thing is essentially anti-heroic.

f) It is not heroic to do an evil to achieve a good: Torturing someone to save the U.S.

[What] the world needs from us:

a) The conviction that there is something worth dying for. That suffering is not the worst thing that can happen to us.

b) The conviction that some things that people are dying for are the wrong things! (Money or fame or to be a size zero...)

The most pitiful among men is he who turns his dreams into silver and gold. Kahlil Gibran

c) Another conviction the hero brings is that there is good and evil in the world. The hero story is a direct attack on moral relativism which, Pope Benedict recently said was the wrong idea that is at the heart of the decay of Western civilization. The only thing that explains Ahmadinijad at Columbia is that there is no more good and evil in the world. If everything is relative, then we can listen to a man in a suit share his ideas about how the Holocaust didn't happen, because who are we to judge the fact that he has murdered hundreds of American soldiers, and has imprisoned scores of Iranian journalists and dissenters, and that he has killed and tortured so many homosexuals that they no longer exist in Iran? I mean who are we to judge him, right? Just because we find those behaviors repugnant might be our problem – like the way we don’t really eat eel here. Right? See, we aren’t going to be able to hold off the conviction of Islamo-fascism with yawning relativism.

d) The mystery of immortality. “A man of courage is also full of faith.” Cicero

e) That being a hero is not a unique call, but a universal one.

f) Being a hero doesn’t come out of nowhere. That you can’t be a hero in big things if you are unheroic in little things. You will not be up to the big moments unless you have made virtuous habits, and have cultivated a broad respect for others. And most of us are schleppy and lazy in our normal moments...

“We can't all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” Will Rogers

“It's choice - not chance - that determines your destiny.” Jean Nidetch

“A man must indeed be a hero to appear such in the eyes of his valet.” Thomas Carlyle

---Barbara Nicolosi, taken her blog post of her notes from a talk she gave to the San Diego Christian Writers Guild.

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