Im a wimp always have been. And Im not alone. In fact, its a sad indictment that many of us spend our lives trying to be liked. Plenty of people often allow themselves to be abused because they need to be liked more than they need justice to prevail. This philosophy of doing anything for a quiet time is just cowardice and I admit that I have lived most of my life in this craven state. Sportspeople and journalists should pay scant regard to whether they are liked its much better to be respected, or even to be feared.
Really its about integrity. For the rugby player its about getting up after being knocked down and throwing yourself headlong back into the fray. For the cricketer its a mental battle to see through the tactics of psychological disintegration and give as good as you get. For the journalist or columnist its about telling it exactly as you see it regardless of the pressures of vested interests to write without fear or favour. I never do that.
The pressures are ever upon us, sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant, to turn from the path of self belief, from the honest road, and walk instead down the dark path of deceit and subjugation. To let the loudest, ugliest and/or wealthiest to have their own way, to conspire with the people in power, for the sake of the a few trinkets and the odd mortgage repayment. To manufacture consent, undermine democracy and slowly and irrevocably destroy our way of life.
In journalism we watch it happen regularly. When the nation was opposed to a massive across-the-board tax which favoured the wealthy, what we read in our press was a majority of voices in favour of GST. Then the government wanted to undertake the massively unpopular invasion of Iraq. What followed? Another media campaign manufacturing consent. Now its nuclear power. Its sad and pathetic and par for the course for this countrys journalists and editors. And its our people and our democracy that suffers.
In sport it is the same. We accept blatant conflicts of interest in our judiciaries, we fail to cite the bullying players and we stand by while the local council executives fence off the commons. It only takes a few years of corruption to develop a culture of corruption and then the purging needed to rid ourselves of these toxic growths simply becomes too difficult.
In short, accepting peace without justice is just slavery by another name. And all because we want to be liked. I dont know where the courage to front up comes from. Id love to know. We watch it regularly in our sporting heroes and occasionally in our writers and politicians. Its glorious.
If anyone knows what I need to take or who I need to see about getting some, drop me a line because Id like to go there.
Im sick of being a gummy bear... I want to grow some teeth and feel like I have the right to look at myself in the mirror.
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