Profiles in Courage by JFK

“And it is when his regard for himself is so high that his own self-respect demands he follow the path of courage and conscience that all benefit” (Pg 259)

There is no more time pressing then the present for us to raise our political standards. More than to the standards that we impose on our leaders we need to take an inward look at ourselves. This is what JFK, before he was President, set to identify when he wrote Profiles in Courage. This novel explored pivotal historical moments that would forever define the characters of these men. One would think that taking a look at these moments when these men had to look within themselves in order to take a stand for what they believed in. They were ridiculed, publicly stoned and most had no choice but to resign their positions and live a life of political exhile. At a time where our leaders continue to fail us maybe it is time to look within each and every one of us. We can show courage to help get us out of our countries demise and old school thinking where only a small minority get to achieve the ultimate truth in freedom.

I think that in itself should be enough to read it. The idea that if only you had the courage to love yourself enough to do what is right in your heart. No matter the consequences. To do what is right for you is only something that you will know. To live us closely as you can to your own true North will ensure a life free from the weight and pressures of the rest of the world. Time is only a measure that assesses the length of time we get to possess our humanly bodies. Our character is the framework for which we will spend the rest of eternity. We all have choices and it’s our ability to live with ourselves after those have been made which will determine how we define our own success.

Holding a book and reading the pages of a man who he himself dared to have courage in his own life and paid the ultimate price. To live your life taking a back seat seems cowardly in ways that only the coward seems to understand. We fail to look within ourselves and admit that somewhere in there lays the problem. We determine that we are too weak to take chances. Too weak to take chances? It’s easier to live in somebodys shadows then to bask in your light.

Humanity keeps failing us over and over. We are so consumed what is happening in the World that we fail to nurture our own. We all have these defining moments in our lives where we are tested on the validity of our lives. That validity rarely takes into our precious commodity…our children. Courage is something that we all have inside of us. Something that will will us forward in times where we are left to question everything else. I question the parents of the children who noticed their children were detaching themselves from life. In a world that starts to go faster but has left your child behind. Did you not notice his distorted sense of reality? His lack of friends? Last night Bill hit it right on the nose. We all need one HUMAN friend. One that will tell our children how far from reality they are. One that would notice that there mood has gone somewhere dark. It is impossible for one normal person to wake up one day and decide it is time. Their destiny has arrived and it’s up to them to fight whatever evil they see in the world.

We need to embrace our courage and stop being lead by the puppets who appear to be in charge. There is no courage when it comes to losing humanity. The subjects of Profiles in Courage are John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, Sam Houston, Edmund G. Ross, Lucius Lamar, George Norris, and Robert A. Taft. Each when given the chance lead by their conscious and desire to be remembered for their good intentions instead of lining their bottom lines and political parties. We are all faced with moments of right and wrong. We can all walk down the same path till our own bell tolls. Or we can decide that we will take the chance. We will exert the courage in order to try for a better life. Taking our destiny into our own hands is the only way to truly develop in grown.

When John F Kennedy wrote Profiles in Courage in 1955 it was to show the different Political prowess that each member showed. It was his way of identifying with these great men in history and laying down the blueprints for the America he wish to inherit. He spoke differently, he ruled differently, he truly kept the hearts of Americans close to his own. Winning a Pullitzer in 1957 served as reassurance that he was destined for greatness. As with all great leaders who had the courage to fight for his people he was met with opposition. The cowardly are destined to trot down the same path. Defying others with retribution if they dared to take a different way.

Nobody will be remembered for the herd that they have become a part to. It’s ok to belong but you always need to stand out. You have to be prepared to use your voice in moments of deafening silence. Life was never meant to be easy or stress free. These moments help make us stronger and help chisel our Character into beautiful masterpieces of Art. Be proud of who you are. Be true to your convictions. Never stop learning from those who walked before us as they serve as a guideline to help us master our own lives. It is impossible to imagine that out of so many that the Universe has seen before us that we are the first to be broken, poor, unloved, unmoved etc We have the skills and tools all laid out before us of those who existed before.

Dare to be moved by political courage and what it took for these men to take a stand. What would it look like for you to live with courage? To look for strength of those that did before us to be the change that not only we need but for the rest of the World as well.

“The contrary it was precisely because they did love themselves-because each one’s need to maintain his own respect for himself was more important to him than his popularity with others-because his desire to win or maintain a reputation for integrity and courage was stronger than his desire to mainain his office-because his conscience, his personal standard of ethics, his integrity or morality, call it what you will-was stronger than the pressures of public disapproval-because his faith that his course was the best one, and would ultimately be vindicated, outweighed his fear of public reprisal.” (Pg 259).

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