I guess this means that you agree with me that it’s acceptable for us to criticize people’s failure to rise to situations we haven’t experienced. If so, your endorsement of courage as a moral virtue by far outweighs any objections I had to your …
To me, it’s not about whether we have experienced the situation — it’s about whether the situation is one that we should be doing something about. Staying quiet when you have a fully functional voice and shouldn’t be staying quiet is unacceptable. My point here is that people get upset about what some guy did with a fossil and they’re willing to open their mouths about that as if it’s a major injustice, but they keep their mouths shut and their headphones in when the situation actually warrants saying something. I believe people have the right to handle injustices that happen to THEM however they want, but nobody should be defending cowards, especially cowards who COULD have done something. It’s not about judging them based on whether we’ve been in their shoes as much as it’s about using our voices for things that matter. Hopefully that’s the takeaway here.
My point about the fossil is that deep down, we know that we would want the money, too. People who have not struggled to put food on the table are not likely to understand why someone would sell something that’s worth so much money. While this situation is not as serious as some other situations that deserve our voice, it is an example of standing up for what’s right. If I encountered this situation face to face (e.g. someone discovering or creating something amazing and someone else trying to take it from them), I would defend it in the same way. This man isn’t a coward for wanting to provide for his family.
Cowards are people who fail to give their voice to those who don’t have one, or people who gang up on someone for a decision they make, or people who stand back and wait for others to step in when the situation warrants it. People who sit down while others stand up. People who deflect blame. People who say there was nothing they could have done when there was absolutely something they could have done.
I’m surprised that this important discussion came from my defense of selling a dead dinosaur, but I’m glad it did. I don’t tolerate cowardice, and I will always use my voice, even if it sparks criticism.
Maybe I’ll write a bit more about this because I often find myself in situations where I literally can’t believe the guy from “What Would You Do?” doesn’t show up with the camera crew.