Elaine has stepped into the online page and commented on the last post. I doubt it was painful for her, though she might have preferred to be reading a book and that, too, is a most valuable, useful and enjoyable use of her time.
In my reply to her, I got wound up on one of the keynote talks at the Writing for Change conference, the one by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, whose latest book is How Good People Can Go Bad.
He says on the subject of writing to "Talk less and write more." That is how he wrote his many books. I think he has written seventy of them. He's the one who created the Stanford prison experiments in the 70's. He said anyone familiar with those would have known what would happen at Abu Ghraib when you put bored guards in charge of prisoners with no supervision or guidance from above. He testified at the trial of the guards because they are not "bad" people, but they were put in a situation where this was guaranteed to happen. The abuses are horrible. I had avoided looking at the pictures when they came out, but I looked yesterday, and I thought any court in the world would sentence those responsible to death and those responsible are at the top, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield.
Here is his website where you can learn more or refresh yourself on the Stanford Prison experiment and, also, his work with shyness.
Zimbardo feels that heroism is the main antidote to evil. His book is about how to resist group influence. He says we need theology blogs, perhaps one called Lucifer Goes to Church. His idea is to develop the heroic imagination in children. He says we now have Superheroes and Super Bad Guys, neither one of whom children can relate to for their own guidance. We need to teach them there is no obvious good or bad, but there is a place where a Hero says, "Take action now," and jumps right in.
We each need to find that place of action in ourselves, and the key to our children's future is to start developing it in them right now.
That is the place to stop a Hitler or a Bush. You crush the injustice as it begins, rather than waiting for a full-out assault.
May the Heroic Imagination rise and thrive. It begins in us. The ego recedes into the background and fear dissolves.