Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Truth, Justice and the American Way

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Again, a post not about interviewing.

I don’t want to post just because I haven’t posted.  I want to actually have something to say.  So, today, I do.  I was thinking that the United States is a powerful country, partly, because it lets the world see its dirty laundry.  It fights with itself in the open, but it does so with such honesty that no other nation on Earth has the balls to copy it.  And that willingness to mud wrestle for its highest, best self in full view makes it strong.

And I think, in the same way, any person who is willing to question themselves and their assumptions; to cry deeply and to think contemplatively, is stronger than anyone who is so certain of their convictions that they would never question them.  To be willing to risk embarassment or worse to tell a King that he is bare assed naked is sweet indeed.

These people and our country win twice.  First, because they realize they can be weak and wrong, but are willing to act anyway.  And secondly, they have the courage of those convictions and are willing to suffer the consequences.  Sure, the King may order him killed.  But the King will forever know that everyone around him knows he was unjust.  But not just Kings.  Also Dukes, Squires, Lords and teeny tiny kingdom builders that hide behind the bureaucracy that they think makes them both invisible and invulnerable.  They sleep well in their beds like little Ivan Illychs, believing they are living the right life by doing the right thing.  But, they’re not always right.  They are not pristine.

And the process of vindication, which also resides within the bureaucracy, may be slow and may deliver results long after a wronged individual will see or appreciate its justice.  But the wheels of the Universe do grind on along a road that arcs toward that justice.  So the legal and ambivalent process, flawed as it can be, is worthwhile, and is worth engaging.  That’s enough for me.

Written by Interviewer

January 21, 2013 at 04:00

Posted in Scratchpad

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