He was the kid that everyone picked on in grade school. He dressed funny, had shaggy hair, was socially awkward, and his smell was a weaponized friend repellant. He tried to make fun of the way I walked once, and then I teased him till he cried.
It happened during recces in fifth grade. A group of us were playing four-square and when I ran to get a stray ball the damage in my knees was made manifest through my gait. In a moment I’m sure he intended to use as a way to pull his own social status from the gutter, he pointed at me, laughed, and made an attempt in humor at my expense.
No one laughed. Even if it had been funny no one would have laughed because snickering at his joke would have lessened their own popularity. Yet I still felt enraged; infused with anger at the conceit with which a socially inferior child had made fun of my own obvious disabilities. So I fired back. And I kept firing my seething insults until the poor child retreated in humiliation and in tears.
The others on the playground praised my refutes with approving smiles, laughed at my demining jokes concerning his personal appearance, and egged me on through my harsher criticisms of his family’s poor economic circumstances. When my tirade of eloquent lies and half-truths concerning his shortcomings had ended I felt appeased.
I felt accomplished in the evil I had done by bullying a child, but now I don’t see why. Now I see an episode of disgrace when my courage failed me. When I could have included instead of discounted; when I could have uplifted, not corrupted.
That boy and his family moved the following year and by the time I realized my cowardice concerning him it was too late to repair the damage done. My absence of courage in this thing has haunted me since.
In this instance my courage failed me, or I failed it. But other examples from humanity show that there is true courage among people. Courage of the quality to do what is right even at the expense of their very lives.
Like the courage of a friend of mine in later life who chose to succumb to the painful distresses of cancer for nine months so as to grant life to her yet unborn child. She held her newborn once, and then passed away. Or the courage of a posthumously awarded Medal of Honor recipient in Afghanistan who chose to charge a vastly superior enemy force by himself so that his Special Forces team members could safely retreat. This action caused every enemy weapon on the battlefield to be directed at him, eventually ending his life but sparing the lives of his friends.
Courage and the strength to act against one’s nature to do what needs to be done can be seen in these stark examples and numerous others through the annals of human history. But examples of courage in doing what is ethical are seldom as poignant, nor do they often receive the praise and admiration that they deserve.
Courage In Business
In a world no longer shocked by a breach of ethics in business, and one that has grown accustom to the announcement of yet another corporate scandal, the shade of true courage in how a company conducts their daily operations has grown grey. But take it from an adult still living with the remorse of failed courage in grade school, the inability to muster the courage to act ethically and responsibly in all situations, even in business, has lasting consequences.
Leadgenix subscribes wholeheartedly to the concept of guilt-free business centered upon the courage to do it the right way. We are an internet marketing company and we specialize in SEO and social media marketing for our clients. We manifest our courage to do the right thing by insisting on performing our work within the guidelines of white-hat SEO. While there are those internet marketing companies that guarantee their clients high page rankings, they do so with the knowledge that they will use black-hat or unethical SEO tactics to do so. We accept the fact that doing it the right way with transparency and honesty may take longer to rank our clients, but do so likewise with the knowledge that our clients will still reach quality page ranks with their and our integrity intact.
Oh, and by the way, remember those lasting consequences I was talking about? They apply here as well because those companies with websites that have their page rank built upon black-hat SEO will eventually be sandboxed by Google. That means kicked out of their index; which means no more business being driven through an online presence because you won’t have an online presence. So enjoy the high rank while it last. Just one more reason why having the courage to do the right thing is admirable.