It’s essential for all of us to judge our actions relative to our ethical and moral standards rather than relative to the chance of success.
Not acting as individual moral agents means that even when we do know what to do, we don’t do it, if we’re afraid we won’t succeed.
Commonly this feeling of being a tiny, insignificant voice in the face of Goliaths of corruption or violence or other dysfunctions leaves us feeling helpless and powerless to effect change.
But the fact is that each stupendous achievement, like the 5,000 Jews saved by the Chambonnais, is rarely one ‘big’ action but rather countless tiny, discrete acts of bravery, integrity and conscience.
Butterfly Effects for Change – Part 4 – “…all the fight was out of me”
In the midst of a firefight in the rice paddies between American soldiers and the Viet Cong early in the Vietnam War, six monks walked toward the line of fire.
“They didn’t look right, they didn’t look left. They walked straight through,” remembers David Busch, one of the American soldiers.
“It was really strange, because nobody shot at ’em. And after they walked over the berm, suddenly all the fight was out of me. It just didn’t feel like I wanted to do this anymore, at least not that day. It must have been that way for everybody, because everybody quit. We just stopped fighting.” (1)
(1)Extract from William Ury’s book – Getting to Peace, Viking Books, 1999