Courage of your convictions? Not behind an avatar it isn’t.

I am a relic of a bygone era and the realization of this fact saddens me. I came from an time where corporal punishment featured creative uses of the belt, hands, broomsticks, shoes and the like in response to various acts of malfeasance. I don’t intend for this to be a treatise on how well behaved me and my peers were in comparison to the youth of the present, but this is intended to be more of an observation.

My peers and I engaged in our acts of mischief under the cover of proverbial darkness, we utilized guile and skill that rivaled that of the intelligence agencies of today. We knew, we smelled and we felt fear down to our bone marrow, knowing that if we were caught in the act  that “it” would be something that would be circulated throughout our respective family units.

There was nothing worse than the sense of foreboding that preceded being paraded throughout the homes of your extended family members to hear the vocalized disappointment that your actions had wrought. Especially, when you didn’t know where and when you would be subject to being a recipient of a “jab” to the head to ensure that everything was working upstairs.

The point is this… When I did wrong, I knew that my actions had consequences that I would have to bear the burden of the responsibility for. In the fog of my youth I was often oblivious to the power that words could wield, the duality of words to cut  deeper than a plunge from a knife; while those words, phrased differently having the ability to empower and infuse the listener with a sense of fortitude and resilience to do what was thought to be inconceivable.

I’ve alluded to this so many times that I feel that I am blue in the face. But, it seems the many convenience of our uber-connected world often do us a disservice in the same breath. The anonymity of the Internet lifts the burden of responsibly harboring the courage of our convictions, why is hiding behind a computer screen the norm rather than the exception?

See no evil image

Nowadays it is routine for people to exhibit counterfeit courage behind an avatar, fictitious name and computer screen. It is my contention that expressing yourself in this fashion isn’t tantamount to bravery, but I equate it to cowardice.

In the not-so-distant past you wore the courage of your convictions, you spoke the truth as you saw it. And if that meant being ostracized or in some circumstances getting a fist to the face, you dusted yourself off and weighed the logic of continuing on the path of opening your piehole, inopportunely. Ideally, experience lent the ability to frame your arguments in a fashion that was more conducive to open and honest dialogue versus useless invective.

Is this a case of us outgrowing this trait or a case of atrophy from lack of use?



  1. Vee says:

    Interesting post! I think that some find it easier to be “brave” behind the buffer of anonymity and avatars. Personally, my thoughts and points of view are important to me and I own them. I accept that some, perhaps many, will disagree with me and that’s fine. Diversity of opinions adds color to life.


    1. shunpwrites says:

      I agree wholeheartedly! When people choose to “hide” instead of owning those beliefs it gives me pause… I wonder what are you scared about?


  2. Definitely atrophy, dear Shun! Due to lack not just of use, but of the very nourishment for our minds; ἀτροφία, ἀ- denoting absence and τροφή meaning food.

    So much nourishment for my mind AND soul here in this place of yours! Through Rachanee’s blog I found you, and I am so thankful for this! This is Leon of SolitaryThinkers, blogging since two months ago with my beloved Plutonia from the ruins of Greece. The names Leon and Plutonia really do carry the vibrations of our real ones, which we sadly cannot disclose. You cannot imagine how much it hurts us to seem to be hiding behind this avatar and the header I have created while desperately hanging on to life just on the verge of utter despair, a small avatarized couple with dozens of literature and science ISBNs in our names, who are not allowed even to exist anymore as babes in the wood, in this unbelievably corrupt state of affairs of our since-millennia-battered-by-waves-of-invasions country. We are going through the most silent of evil genocides now, and there are some very disturbing signs that things will be aggravating. And then suddenly you feel the warmth of a kindred spirit and you know that this brotherhood is worth fighting for. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for not being deterred by our desperate situation, thank you for liking our About section just now as I write these lines to express to you my gratitude for hanging in there and for giving meaning to this level of our collective existence.

    I am so exhausted, dear brother. I will not be able to come back to you very soon if you respond to this. Plutonia has fallen ill due to our many burdens, and I am the only person in the world taking care of her (and she of me). And then it is her turn to gather all her strength and raise some awareness in German through our only, old and slow online computer. So much misunderstanding and hatred being bred in Europe, so few deeply thinking and feeling people to make enough difference against hordes of mindless barbarians and fellow humans lulled into oblivion by the use of technology. The pen was a nice physical object you could heat up with your mortal hand to create an electrifying sheet of paper with really weighty words, but hey, the keyboard can be mightier than the sword, too, right? The thing is, we cannot make ends meet for much longer. After a lifetime of badly paid work, we persevere to produce our strongest labor of love without getting paid at all. It is people like you who give us the strength to carry on, and we do believe in miracles, so please send a prayer this way.

    All wars are in essence spiritual; it is not money that rules the world; we’re just being oppressed through the lack of it, locked up in our cages away from the land, the soil and the sun. Our connections are purely spiritual, too; it is not the words themselves that make what’s going on between us happen; what is going on here between people like you and me is through and above words, and we have been cherishing them all our lives because they help us heal and reconnect as divine sparks, yes?

    God bless you, Shun. We’ll be in touch. I am following now.


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