Greatness

In which Carrie considers the impact of inspiration and perspiration through the lens of sports metaphor and historical heroism…

This is a kick ass video, literally and figuratively.  It is instructive in relaying a message that kicking another’s ass is the way to be great and it reminds us that kicking ass is a measure one can only hold in relation to greater values than personal glory.  This invites questions about identity and ethics.

Who am I?  What do I believe in?  Who can I trust to stand by me?  Who can I support to achieve comparable objectives?

I am reminded of a conversation I had with a friend recently.  I often analogize my desire to assert myself courageously in terms of  when “I come out swinging.”  I do this while fighting for my autonomy and purpose, and my place in the world as a member of the whole human society who wants to do great things.  Sometimes we are met with walls in our way, necessary or character-bending in their placement.  My friend recognized my impulse to “come out swinging” and told me a fight wasn’t of interest.  I was reminded of the risks involved in war, even a two person one.

Shall I work for peace or do I succumb to the pressures of my passionate species?

One of my projects this term is to read Lies my Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen.  It is a subversive text which criticizes American history textbooks.  It gives compelling insights into heroes small and large.  It asks why authors omit information and retain other points.  It wonders why American students learn only about how great this country is and why we perpetuate the facade of the positive.

When I watch this inspirational video, or find other opportunities for inspiration, I question them.  I am reminded that what interests me is achieving my better self, one which I would be proud to put in a history textbook, while remaining very much human in my uncertainty and willing power to take the steep side to the summit if it is the best route for us all.

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