The Heroism Of West African Ebola Workers | WGBH News

An Ebola virus quarantine in Eastern Sierra Leone. Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn said community leaders have been doing the bulk of work to combat the virus, while world leaders stand by. Credit / Flickr

An Ebola virus quarantine in Eastern Sierra Leone. Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn said community leaders have been doing the bulk of work to combat the virus, while world leaders stand by. Credit / Flickr

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."

via The Heroism Of West African Ebola Workers | WGBH News.

Step Up | American University

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 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.

How to be brave | Psychology Today

In 1942, four unsteady piano players responded to an ad placed by Bernard Gabriel, a concert pianist, publicizing a series of meetings to be held at his Manhattan apartment. Fear-racked musicians were invited "to play, to criticize, and be criticized, all to conquer the old bogey of stage fright." Gabriel had no formal qualifications other than a confidence beyond his 30 years. Gabriel was, it was said, "non-timid" and he deployed rudimentary exposure therapy—insulting musicians and distracting them with loud noises—to inoculate them against performance anxiety. Soon Gabriels "Society of Timid Souls" numbered more than 20, and copycat societies followed.

The world is not populated only by square-jawed heroes and sniveling cowards, as the Society of Timid Souls well understood. The vast majority of us find ourselves somewhere in the middle, wishing to be brave and yet easily frightened by what is frightening. Either that or we are capable of facing real danger one day, and the next being scared out of our wits by something comparatively trivial.

For stage performers and those with chronic illnesses, testing points may come virtually every day. For those who confront violence or natural disaster, the test may come once in a lifetime. Whatever the circumstance, when someone who appears small and ordinary is brave, it gives us all hope. Its this transformation, however momentary, from timid to brave soul that sits at the heart of how we measure ourselves as humans.

via How to Be Brave | Psychology Today.

Malala Yousafzai, What Gave You the Courage to Continue This? | The Daily Show

I Am Malala

On October 8, 2013, Malala Yousafzai appeared on the Daily Show. Although the entire interview is definitely worth watching, I would encourage you to give particular attention to the question and answer at 3:00, where she answers a question about the source of her courage. [Jon Stewart]: ... What gave you the courage to continue this?

[Malala Yousafzai]: You know, my father was great encouragement for me because he spoke out for women's rights. He spoke out for girls' education. At that time, I said that why should I wait for someone else? Why should I be looking to the government and the army that they would help us? Why don't I raise my voice? Why don't we speak up for our rights?... I raised my voice on every platform that I could, and I said 'I need to tell the world'"...

CNN Announces Top 10 Heroes Of 2013

cnn heroes logo

Today CNN announced the Top Ten Heroes of 2013. They are ten everyday people who are changing the world in extraordinary ways. Each will receive a $50,000 grant to help them with their work, and each has a shot at being named CNN Hero of the Year. You can help decide the winner. You can vote for your favorite Hero now at or from your mobile device.

Whoever is named CNN Hero of the Year will receive an additional $250,000 grant to further advance their cause.

via CNN Heroes announced – Anderson Cooper 360 - Blogs.