The fact that McNair's death was pointless and wholly avoidable is obvious, and hardly a revelation at all. But, what the player's death and the months thereafter illustrate are the addictive, insidious, destructive, and systematic nature of organizations that are tearing people down rather than building them up.
When we actively disengage our leadership and leave the future of our groups to little more than a roll of the dice, those "if's" become "intentional failures" (IFs) because the house always wins. If you play long enough, the house takes you down.
The Ebola outbreak is a crisis that exists on a level above political and geographical boundaries. The rapid spread has forced organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) to wrangle with politicians and governing bodies. The process has been slow and fraught. "Someone has to stop this. It's not going to be the WHO. It's not going to be the government of these nations. ... They basically shook their heads, and sat on their fingers for months before they did anything, as has most of the West."
By necessity, other actors have stepped in to fill the void, and they've done so at great risk to their lives and livelihood. But what type of person puts herself in the middle of a humanitarian crisis?"
It's less about characteristics, and more about the inner power and spirit that lies within us, often dormant — and then something ... calls it forth," Koehn said. "I think what we see here — and those people who put themselves on the [Boston Marathon] finish line, those emergency workers who just pour into danger zones — is the spirit that gets unlocked, and is incredibly powerful, that makes an enormous difference ..., much more difference than any of these huge, big leaders that we put up on pedestals."
A note from The Power Button: The below video is a fantastic illustration of the concepts of the 3D (Direct, Delegate, Distract) model for bystander intervention, which we discussed in The Speed of One: 4th of 6 Heroic Arts. The Office of Campus Life also has some tremendous resources via http://www.american.edu/ocl/stepup/index.cfm You can make a big difference in the lives of others and change your world. Here's one way to do it.
From YouTube: Step Up is an award-winning bystander intervention program, adopted by American University, that uses five steps to teach students how to intervene in situations including sexual assault, alcohol abuse, mental health emergencies, hazing, and more. Step Up. Be More Than A Bystander.
This film has been created by the Office of University Communications and Marketing and the Office of Campus Life.
In the three years since launching the Building Heroes blog, I have been fortunate to have more than 46,500 people read at least one of my 200 posts, a far cry from the 44 visitors I had after my first month. However, with growth comes change.
“The snake which cannot shed its skin must perish.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
On November 1, 2013, I relaunched BuildingHeroes.Org as ThePowerButton.Org. Building Heroes always will be a part of the Power Button, as evidenced by its prominent placement on the site, and it is my hope that the Power Button's message will reach some of those who would not otherwise connect with the language of "heroism".
So, in the spirit of looking back before moving forward into the New Year, here are the top five most read posts from the Building Heroes and the Power Button blogs from 2013, as well as a personal favorite to propel you forward into the New Year.