Now Is The Time For Heroes
It was a decade or so ago, in the depth of the global financial crisis, that the musician and writer Henry Rollins offered a prescription that once again feels relevant. Indeed, it feels relevant because his advice was timeless, and applies in ordinary and extraordinary times alike. It’s advice worth following in times of triumph and great trials. “People are getting a little desperate,” he wrote as unemployment spiked and markets crashed. “People might not show their best elements to you. You must never lower yourself to being a person you don’t like. There is no better time than now to have a moral and civic backbone. To have a moral and civic true north. This is a tremendous opportunity for you, a young person, to be heroic.”Well, here we are in rough and uncertain times again. People are not showing their best selves. People are scared. For several years in a row now, people have had their true north obscured and disoriented by daily examples of bad leadership—of ego and selfishness and downright incompetence. But, in a way, that doesn’t matter. As Marcus Aurelius said, what other people say or do is not our concern. What matters is what we do. We can choose to see this as a tremendous opportunity. This is a moment to be heroic. To think about others. To serve. To prepare. To keep calm. To reassure. To protect. This is a time to reevaluate our priorities. To ask ourselves what’s important and what we’re working towards. Courage is calling you. Self-discipline is essential. We need your moral and civic backbone. And man, do we need wisdom right now more than ever. We need you to embody those things. We need them right now.
Duration: 3 min