11 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2017
    1. So, fare you well at once; for Brutus’ tongue Hath almost ended his life’s history: Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would rest That have but labour’d to attain this hour.

      Marcus Brutus has been regarded as the "noblest Roman of them all" who acts only with the interest of the State at heart. The assassination of Caesar was even justified by him; he exclaimed to the public "it’s not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more."

      In his last moments, it is obvious that Brutus was feeling remorseful of the past atrocities, but is this enough to ground Brutus as a fundamentally heroic character? Is Brutus in fact delusional, attempting to redeem himself via radical patriotism? Do his actions speak louder than his words?

      Therefore, my question is:

      Is Brutus deserving of a tragic hero status, or does he portray a more antagonistic character in the play?

  2. Sep 2015
    1. But in a digital world, how do we connect ourselves and our children to what were once oral traditions? Hollywood has accomplished some of these tasks. The recent screen version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings brought us a classic story that is based on the epic tradition. Yet how many of us have stopped and talked with our children about the deeper meanings of this tale? As the sophistication of video gaming grows, can the power of this entertainment form be used to educate children about the pitfalls of following a herd mentality? Could these games help children develop their own internal compass in morally ambiguous situations? Or perhaps even help them think about their own ability to act heroically? And as we plow ahead in the digital era, how can the fundamental teachings of a code of honor remain relevant to human interactions?
    2. There are several concrete steps we can take to foster the heroic imagination. We can start by remaining mindful, carefully and critically evaluating each situation we encounter so that we don’t gloss over an emergency requiring our action. We should try to develop our “discontinuity detector”—an awareness of things that don’t fit, are out of place, or don’t make sense in a setting. This means asking questions to get the information we need to take responsible action. Second, it is important not to fear interpersonal conflict, and to develop the personal hardiness necessary to stand firm for principles we cherish. In fact, we shouldn’t think of difficult interactions as conflicts but rather as attempts to challenge other people to support their own principles and ideology. Third, we must remain aware of an extended time-horizon, not just the present moment. We should be engaged in the current situation, yet also be able to detach part of our analytical focus to imagine alternative future scenarios that might play out, depending on different actions or failures to act that we take in the present. In addition, we should keep part of our minds on the past, as that may help us recall values and teachings instilled in us long ago, which may inform our actions in the current situation. Fourth, we have to resist the urge to rationalize inaction and to develop justifications that recast evil deeds as acceptable means to supposedly righteous ends. Finally, we must try to transcend anticipating negative consequence associated with some forms of heroism, such as being socially ostracized. If our course is just, we must trust that others will eventually recognize the value of our heroic actions.

      Steps to heroism

    3. We hold up inventors, athletes, actors, politicians, and scientists as examples of “heroes.” These individuals are clearly role models, embodying important qualities we would all like to see in our children—curiosity, persistence, physical strength, being a Good Samaritan—but they do not demonstrate courage or fortitude. By diminishing the ideal of heroism, our society makes two mistakes. First, we dilute the important contribution of true heroes, whether they are luminary figures like Abraham Lincoln or the hero next door. Second, we keep ourselves from confronting the older, more demanding forms of this ideal. We do not have to challenge ourselves to see if, when faced with a situation that called for courage, we would meet that test. In prior generations, words like bravery, fortitude, gallantry, and valor stirred our souls.
    4. What characterizes the final step toward heroic action? Are those who do act more conscientious? Or are they simply less risk averse? We don’t know the answer to these vital questions—social science hasn’t resolved them yet. However, we believe that an important factor that may encourage heroic action is the stimulation of heroic imagination—the capacity to imagine facing physically or socially risky situations, to struggle with the hypothetical problems these situations generate, and to consider one’s actions and the consequences. By considering these issues in advance, the individual becomes more prepared to act when and if a moment that calls for heroism arises. Strengthening the heroic imagination may help to make people more aware of the ethical tests embedded in complex situations, while allowing the individual to have already considered, and to some degree transcended, the cost of their heroic action. Seeing one’s self as capable of the resolve necessary for heroism may be the first step toward a heroic outcome.
    5. Accounts of Sugihara’s life show us that his efforts to save Jewish refugees was a dramatic finale to a long list of smaller efforts, each of which demonstrated a willingness to occasionally defy the strict social constraints of Japanese society in the early 20th century. For example, he did not follow his father’s instructions to become a doctor, pursuing language study and civil service instead; his first wife was not Japanese; and in the 1930s, Sugihara resigned from a prestigious civil service position to protest the Japanese military’s treatment of the Chinese during the occupation of Manchuria. These incidents suggest that Sugihara already possessed the internal strength and self-assurance necessary to be guided by his own moral compass in uncertain situations. We can speculate that Sugihara was more willing to assert his individual view than others around him who preferred to “go along to get along.”
    6. The idea of the banality of heroism debunks the myth of the “heroic elect,” a myth that reinforces two basic human tendencies. The first is to ascribe very rare personal characteristics to people who do something special—to see them as superhuman, practically beyond comparison to the rest of us. The second is the trap of inaction—sometimes known as the “bystander effect.” Research has shown that the bystander effect is often motivated by diffusion of responsibility, when different people witnessing an emergency all assume someone else will help. Like the “good guards,” we fall into the trap of inaction when we assume it’s someone else’s responsibility to act the hero.
    7. the Heroic Imagination Project, that he founded to translate this research into action. 

      Link - from Philip Zimbardo

    8. So one of the principles of the talk, heroes are most effective not alone, not the, thesoldier in, in battle who takes a bullet for his buddy, but forming a network.
    9. Heroism is about one thing: It’s about a concern for other people in need, a concernto develop, to defending a moral cause knowing there is a personal cause or risk. That’s the key.And you do it without expectation of reward. So altruism is heroism light. Compassion is avirtue that may lead to heroism, but we don’t know. Nobody’s established said link.
    1. In the Oliners’ study of Germans who helped rescue Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, one of the strongest predictors of this inspiring behavior was the individual’s memory of growing up in a family that prioritized compassion and altruism.