You Don’t Get Points for Doing the Right Thing
There are all sorts of awards connected to being voted MVP in professional sports — fame, promotional contracts, GOAT status, being remembered in history.
But there is no outward reward that goes along with being an MVP in life, for being someone who makes contributions to the world by doing the right thing.
The MVP in life knows the internal reward, the peace of knowing you did the best you could, and maybe you actually made a positive difference in the life of another.
But, that’s not the ‘Murican way. True ‘Muricans believe in wealth and fame, damn the snowflakes and the do-gooders, they’re saps. Sending personal rockets to space while billions starve, raking in gazillions in profits while the poor suffer without vaccines; the billionaires doing these things are lauded on the nightly news.
Meanwhile, the MVP in life — the whistleblower, the union organizer, the environmentalist –is often punished.
You don’t get points for doing the right thing. The MVP in life is often ridiculed, trolled, stalked or even killed.
Most people don’t speak up out of fear. How to we face this fear? How do we keep ourselves on a path of doing the right thing? How do we teach our children to do the right thing?
Maggie Kuhn, an activist who founded the Gray Panthers, advised, “Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.” She acknowledged that fear is real, but that fear should not hold you back.
The Gray Panthers was intergenerational and although it was founded to push back against ageism, the activist group grew to fight injustice of all kinds. The Gray Panthers gained power by including people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, and social classes.
Joining with others to fight injustice gives us courage to speak up.
As for coping with the fear of retribution that may arise from your activism, we can look to the advice of Martin Luther King, Jr. in his sermon, “The Mastery of Fear or Antidotes to Fear.”