Heroes & Drum Majors

@created:: 2024-02-02
@tags:: #lit✍/🎧podcast/highlights
@ref:: Heroes & Drum Majors
@author:: In Good We Trust

2024-02-02 In Good We Trust - Heroes & Drum Majors

Book cover of "Heroes & Drum Majors"




(highlight:: The Oscillating Impulse to Commit to Moral Heroism
Encountering moral heroism can evoke conflicting impulses within individuals, leading to a constant oscillation between the commitment to help others in need and the desire to retreat for self-preservation.
This inner battle is exemplified by the author's personal experience of feeling inspired by heroes like Mother Teresa but then experiencing moments of apathy and defeat when faced with the enormity of global suffering. The author's struggle reflects the internal conflict many people face in reconciling their moral obligations towards others with their instinct for self-preservation and personal comfort.
Speaker 1
These heroes are inspiring, but also unsettling. Mark Jacobson, who wrote in The Atlantic about meeting Mother Teresa, said, she looked up from beneath her blue and white hat and asked, can you help? Her gaze was arresting. How, I stammered. She didn't answer, only returned a thin smile. It was a bemused look. The sense of it was that this was a genuine question that I would have to answer myself. Jacobson had trouble answering. He explained, sometimes it seems that I cannot get through a day without madly swinging full 180 on the subject. One minute I assert starving people in Somalia just none of my business, and that my job in life is to better insulate my family from the inevitable ravages of the coming age of scarcity. Then an hour later, I'm telling my wife that we should just give away all the furniture and book ourselves on a flight to East Timor because the Indonesians are bleeding the people there, The lands of tropical moonscape, and no one is making speeches about it. We can help in East Timor, I tell my wife. But it all comes to nothing. My two impulses collide and I become paralyzed. I slumped down in my chair, defeated. I slumped down in my chair, often actually. My inner pendulum swings from commitment to retreat.)
- Time 0:02:43
- altruistic_motivation, commitment, moral_action, moral_behavior, moral_commitment, moral_heroism,


(highlight:: Leaning into Selfishness: Arguments for Being a Moral Hero
One should embrace the instinct for importance and greatness, but channel it towards love, moral excellence, and generosity.
Passive waiting will not dismantle evil; it requires daily persistence and a relentless pursuit of justice. Rather than waiting for historical figures to return, it is up to us to take action against injustice.
Speaker 1
For this upcoming Black History Month, I suggest you listen to a fascinating speech by King titled, The Drum Major Instinct. He encourages us with a story about the apostles John and James. They tell Jesus that they want to sit at the right hand of God. King admitted that this could seem selfish, an example of a socially dominant, me-first mentality. Should Jesus condemn John and James? King explains that Christ gave James and John a different answer about the Drum Major Instinct. In King's words, Jesus answered, Oh, I see you want to be first. You want to be great. You want to be important. You want to be significant. Well you ought to be. You're going to be my disciple. You must be. Don't give up this instinct. It's a good instinct if you use it right. It's a good instinct if you don't distort it and pervert it. Don't give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do. A friend of Dr. King, Mary and right Edelman, who founded the Children's Defense Fund, urged us to step up. She quoted King, structures of evil do not crumble by passive waiting if history teaches anything. It is that evil is recalcitrant and determined and never voluntarily relinquishes its hold of an almost fanatical resistance. Evil must be attacked by a counteracting persistence by the day-to-day assault of the battering rams of justice. And Edelman is speaking directly to us when she says, a lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back, but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.)
- Time 0:06:06
- evil, justice, selfishness, favorite, altruism, moral_action, moral_behavior, moral_heroism, self-importance, moral_responsibility, altruistic_motivation,