Honesty & Courage

The things you stumble across on the internet.

The things, maybe, you were meant to find.

We need the honesty and courage to consider with an open mind and heart points of view that challenge our beliefs — even our deepest, most cherished identity-forming beliefs. We need the intellectual humility to recognize our own fallibility — and that, too, requires honesty and courage.

This piece has not garnered anything like the attention it deserves.

Apparently, a statement that is not about drawing blood or scoring points for a particular “side” is not interesting enough—or perhaps just not clickable enough—to be given the attention it deserves.

Thanks to Elizabeth Scalia, a Benedictine Oblate who wrote about it.

Social ennui aside, one can’t help but wonder, how do they do it? Black man, white man; progressive, conservative—how do West and George manage to come together to deliver the stabilizing pylons upon which something fine and lasting may be built?

On paper, particularly in an age of identity-everything, it should not work, and yet the two men are fast friends who manage to be frank in their disagreements and yet manage a warm and constructive relationship that builds on where they agree and—when they take their thoughts public, as they did last week—works to the benefit of us all.

It’s extraordinary, and I invite you to read the whole piece: Honesty & Courage.

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6 Responses to Honesty & Courage

  1. Good stuff, Isabel. Again, thank you.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna Glad you liked it. When people complain about Twitter being a cesspit, I think of folks like the Benedictine Oblate who put me onto this. Like most human endeavours, it’s complicated.

  2. Isabel, I finally got the West and George manifesto to open through the Scalia link, who is a blessing in herself. However, the problem when both admirable, rational, Christian men address Trump and Biden in the same breath (in their final paragraph) is that they do not understand the nature of insanity. Donald Trump is insane. He is physiologically unable to reason, to learn, to love, to care, or to act with self-control for the sake of others. His thought processes are dominated largely by the qualities of the right half of the brain, not by the qualities of the left half of the brain. I know whereof I speak. At present, one of our sons flips between left-brain forms of thought, communication, and self-controlled behavior and right-brain efforts that do not deserve the terms “thought,” “communication,” or self-controlled behavior.” Only when he is consistent about his Focused Listening music therapy does he creep closer to left-brain dominance as a prevailing state of consciousness. Most of what he (and Trump) experience as pleasure is associated with the right-brained states of consciousness that define insanity. He must become willing to forego almost all things he feels comfortable with to increase his presence in the normal world. Trump has no one in his life who understands what makes him tick, and that includes his cousin Mary, who has made herself famous by explaining his behavior on a Freudian model. That model is inadequate. However, as Seth Godin reminds us, to persuade people to take a desirable action you do not necessarily appeal to their reason but to what they want to think. Mary may persuade enough people with her inadequate model to prevent Trump’s gaining reelection. And that would be a good thing. Meanwhile, I am trying to persuade our son that awakening fully into the normal world is still a “feel-good” place to be.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – That’s an interesting perspective on the President. I’ve heard many analyses of him since he was elected, but yours is perhaps the most insightful, and with the best reasons, albeit not entirely happy ones. I wish America well, and I wish you well with your son.

  3. Lorna says:

    I find Laura’s analysis thoughtful and congruent with my observations of Trump from a great distance. However it is not just Trump and Biden to whom this article should be addressed. Trump’s lack of empathy and humility have led him to attack any who differ with him. Those people in turn have shown neither honesty nor courage in defending the principles of justice for all, support of the oppressed, respect for the democratic norms and institutions of government. There is need of a far reaching house cleaning if the States is to turn towards these principles rather than continue on its path of division and destruction. That is my view and I am not optimistic that there are enough people with the humility to admit a mistake with colossal ramifications and the courage to act to correct it.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Lorna – I’m pretty sure that the authors weren’t limiting themselves to Trump and Biden, but, rather, addressing them particularly. I believe there are still good folks in public life, and hope that they can find a way through this present division, which has been likened by some to a third American Civil War (the first one being the Revolution, which not all supported).

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