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Wednesday, 9 November 2011






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Can you be the lone voice of reason?

Itís a tough world outside your window. Thereís bad news everywhere. Thereís no place to hide from the dangers that lurk beyond your door. There are times when you want to stand out from the crowd however and ask yourself and others, can sanity prevail? Right in the middle of chaos, can you will yourself to think calmly and act with reason?

Itís easy to lose your head, when as Kipling put so poignantly, when others are losing theirs. Instead of keeping your head steadfast, hurd instinct sometimes kicks in and you choose to add to the chaos. But sanity can and reason will prevail. We just have to learn to apply ourselves to it with determination and a steely will.

Human courage

There have been instances on record when men and women otherwise mediocre and predictable, have gone on to achieve outstanding reasoning, emerging the true heroes of the day. The human spirit is capable of doing things beyond understanding and comprehension. When put to the test, they have emerged triumphant, able beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be the voice of reason.

The world has seen situations that were thought to be beyond hope or reason. And yet, those very grim circumstances have seen someone emerge from the chaos to take hold of a voice unheard before. To be compassionate, to think impartially and to find the courage to be the level headed individual who can inspire others.

There have been quiet, resilient individuals who have stopped mobs from attacking innocents, who have performed tasks that have tested the very depths of human courage in dangerous circumstances; proving yet again that despite the madness, there will be sanity. Humankind isnít lost yet. There are men and women who can and will stand alone when needed.

Unsung heroes

Facing natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes, courageous people have chosen to risk their lives to save others. There are many sung and unsung heroes whose courage in raging waters, powerful tsunamis and dangerous earth slips have saved many where they would, otherwise, have perished.

Rescue operation for Japanese tsunami victims

NHK recently showed the courageous Japanese citizens who saved themselves and others as tsunamiís deadly waters sought to swallow cities. One was a small made woman who could have sat frozen in her car while the waters rose. Instead, she chose to reverse the car almost into the blackened waters, and drive uphill while the waters chased her car from behind. It is easy to wonder how or where she got the courage to save herself and the others in her car but how she did remains a testimony to the spirit of human courage under stress.

There are times that test our patience, our will to survive and our capacity to move beyond our immediate comfort zone. We may hide in a shell to take refuge from the raging storms or go along with the flow, yielding ourselves. I have heard of people mentioning how it was so easy to face a moving train and sit immobilised, unable to do anything, not even scream. Or how some watched the tsunami waters hit but just sat there frozen. Shock is a great immobiliser but we can rise above such primitive thoughts. Many have done.

People often respond to situations with doom and gloom. Gloom alone will not do in facing and succeeding in overcoming situations. History is full of courageous and heroic people who faced tough situations and emerged unscathed. The capacity to do so, to overcome, is in all of us.

All over the world, we hear of stories that test us. Floods. Natural disasters. Economic disasters. Personal tragedies. How we face them determines who we are. What shapes us is the way we choose to let those affect us. If we get carried away in the storm, we will not live another day. We need to choose to differ, to stand apart, to be able to hold our heads high - and be the voice of reason.



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