Sunday, December 20, 2015

Michael Oher on courage, and on honour

You've probably seen the 2009 movie, The Blind Side (starring Sandra Bullock), which is the true story of Michael Oher, whose football career was supported by foster parents, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy.
True story:  In his senior high school year, Oher was struggling to maintain a grade point average that would qualify him to play football at an NCAA Division 1 university.  An essay he submitted for his English class boosted his grade just enough that met the academic requirement for those scholarships.

Michael Oher's paper was written about Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem The Charge of the Light Brigade, focusing on the difference between courage and honor. This was his essay:

Michael Oher on The Charge Of The Light Brigade
Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or a mistake, but you are not supposed to question adults or your coach or your teacher. Because they make the rules. Maybe they know the best or maybe they don’t.

It all depends on who you are and where they come from.

Didn’t at least the six hundred guys think of giving up and joining with the other side? I mean “The Valley Of Death”. That’s pretty salty stuff. That’s why courage is tricky, should you always do what others tell you to do.

Sometimes you might not even know why you do something. I mean any fool can have courage. But honour, that’s the real reason you do something or you don’t. It’s who you are and maybe who you want to be.

If you die trying for something important then you have both honour and courage and that’s pretty good.

I think that’s what the writer was saying: that you should hope for courage and try for honour and maybe even pray that the people telling you what to do have some too.


There is no honour in any of America's foreign wars.  Yet, America's leaders are tripping over their own feet in their eagerness to appear more hawkish than their opponents.  They are wagering that Americans will abandon honour (and reason) in favour of their false claims of absolute security and solace from fear.  In other words, that Americans will also abandon courage, in the face of a fear they cannot master.
It takes far less courage to oppose America's imperial wars now than it did in 2002.  The honour quotient, though, is still there ... I encourage you to speak out against those wars; if only to people who know and respect you, friends, family members, co-workers, those in your church. 

Americans:  End your wars.

1 comment:

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