No, I’m not courageous. Forging ahead when you have something to lose, or when the power you are speaking truth to can hurt you, is courageous. Speaking truth to power when the power can’t hurt you isn’t courage. It’s just talking. Talking is valuable, but it is not, of itself, courageous.
Others are courageous. Others are speaking out when family relationships may shatter, when their stories may cause humiliation to themselves, to those they love. Others are speaking out when they may be shouted down, called liars, ridiculed, shunned. Others are speaking out when they may be fired, left with nothing, forced to move. Others are speaking out when they live right there, must interact with the principals, must rub shoulders with the hurting, the wounded, the perpetrators, the uncaring. Others are speaking out when they must pick up the slack, pay the bills, promise again where promises have been broken, discounted, disappeared.
Others are courageous. I’m just typing.
Here’s something else that requires no courage, and I hope many of you will do this:
It does not require courage to pick up a telephone, dial 864-242-5100, and say, “The firing of Dr. Bill McCauley was the wrong move. Please rescind it.” It does not require courage to open your computer, go to bju.edu, click on the little “Contact Us” envelope at the bottom of the home page and write a little note to Dr. Stephen Jones or Dr. Bob Jones III or Darren Lawson or Ed Dunbar or whoever you want to talk to and say, “You know what, firing Dr. McCauley was not right. Please reinstate him,” and sign your name. There is no courage required for this, only fingers.
It might also be a good idea to follow up your call or email with a real letter on a real piece of paper with a real stamp and really mail it to 1700 Wade Hampton Boulevard, Greenville, SC 29614, since I understand the computer people go through the mail (this may not be true, but I’ve heard such a rumor) and don’t deliver what they don’t want to deliver.
Banish those silly sounds in the back of your head that say, “Who am I?” and “They won’t listen to me,” and “I shouldn’t get involved” or “That would be ganging up.” It’s not ganging up. It’s talking. It’s just talking.
Do not be afraid to do the right thing. Do it for Dr. McCauley. And, if there is someone else you know of who was forced to retire, do it for him. Do it for her.