You hit on a point that is the source of much personal bitterness and requires (these days) daily self-monitoring to remain as patient as possible with people who are afraid to speak their minds for fear of losing their jobs, their connections, their affection from others, whatever. If I were you or others like you who have made a great effort to "walk the walk" despite these risks, I'd be batting frustration away constantly. May as well say, "Thanks for bleeding on the battlefield. Regretfully I cannot join, I have things I would be risking if I did." What ought to scare those people more than the prospect of dying as cowards is the inevitability of living as slaves if they don't change course. Like Robert the Bruce in Braveheart who said, "I respect what you said, but remember that these men have lands and castles. It's much to risk." Then good ol' Mel says, "And the common man, who bleeds on the battlefield, does he risk less?" I do believe most of these people who nod their affirmations in private feel similarly to Robert the Bruce, which does lighten my mood about them. After all, in the end, the same character notably, and very bittersweetly said, "I do not want to lose heart. I want to live as he does. I will never be on the wrong side again." I suppose the question that keeps gnawing at me (and the question I admittedly ask myself in moments of weakness) is, "what are you waiting for?"

Not to say I have no understanding of the challenges of this struggle or compassion for the sacrifices required to do the right thing, or the ability to relate to people who have few options for making a living should they lose their jobs over speaking their minds. I do. It's just so disheartening knowing that although they have been able to justify many of the bullshit rules imposed during the past couple of years especially, eventually there will be something they do not want to give up - their "hill to die on" so to speak. When that time comes, perhaps it will be too late. There is momentum now. I have to think (if not because it seems logical then to serve my own strength adaptations) that it just takes a critical mass of people all speaking up now (non-violently, legally, peacefully) for this to end gloriously. I have no tattoos, but this made me want to get one on my forehead that says "Then Die" - a reference to what Bruce Lee once told his student when the student was so fatigued during a run that he said he might die if he continued on. Lee said these words to him (then die) and the student became so angry and distracted by his own thoughts in response that he finished the run without difficulty. In the pursuit of meaning, purpose, excellence, perfection, freedom, if you feel you might die...then die. As the brilliant John Cater put it, "safety last."

Expand full comment

I entirely agree.

One of Jordan Peterson's quotes that resonated with me is "There's nothing so ugly as a 40 year old baby", perfectly true. The case of "Chrischan" has proven that.

For those of you unaware of Chrischan (you're lucky) you may wish to aquatint yourselves with it. Be warned it's a nasty and deep rabbit hole, but it's also a terrible and terribly true story of pathological weakness.

Christian/Christine Chandler was a weak man of low intelligence deeply soaked in a corrupt culture that made him even weaker. Although he's not technically dead yet he has now meet a true shameful end.

It's a lesson for us all.

Expand full comment

Great article!

Expand full comment