Daniel Ellsberg is the source of my inspiration to develop a theory of “the Courageous Personality.” His exceptional courage motivated me to study people who take great personal risks for truth, justice, peace, and freedom. I was curious about the psychology of the very few courageous souls who rise up in the face of oppression.
What a great tribute to a true hero and a hero of heroes! Dan has dedicated his life to working for peace, justice, and democracy.
So glad that you also gave tribute to Patricia Ellsberg, who is more than Dan's partner...she is his co-collaborator!
Beautiful, moving, inspiring and very timely. Thank you Diane for this tribute to Dan, Patricia and to the mix of love and courage they embodied and that is so needed in our world today... and which, like rainbows, can make our hearts leap as we behold the face of beauty.
What a beautiful and loving tribute to a wonderful moral champion. It's so thrilling to see your interaction and personal history intertwined with the grand flow of history through your connection to a giant such as Ellsberg.
Diane, your writing is such a Beautiful tribute and provides such important insights into some of the many ingredients that can lead to highly courageous moral acts. Creating such conditions at scale, to the extent that is possible, to make wide scale mass nonviolent resistance--our last best and best proven hope--feasible again in America and worldwide in the little time we have left, is my own life's work. I am sad I was never able to inform Daniel of my signficant progress--gary from GetCourageNow
In my opinion: some people have the training to develop courage, so do not. But there also seems to be a personality component. Some people have the potential to have courage, most do not. But courage is a choice. One can choose to do the right thing, or just coast through life and hope someone else does.
IMO Naziism and authoritarianism came about because the Germans had to pay huge reparations after WW1 which caused a terrible economy for the long-term. While the German politicians caused the war, the German people still had to pay for it, and the aftermath. The German people wanted an easy way out of a miserable economy, and a charismatic leader said what they wanted to hear. It's easier for a sheeple to manufacture a scapegoat than to take responsibility, and this is what happened. This leader then set into motion a series of events which would destroy many German cities in the end. And yet we still have plenty of people who don't learn from history, and thus history repeats itself.
The lesson here: Taking shortcuts, and avoiding personal responsibility, usually ends up badly, both at the country level and personal level.