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November 13, 2004

Cowards R Us

There seems to be a lot of talk drawing comparisons between bravery and cowardice these days. What is bravery? What is cowardice? Why do people seem to think one is so much better than the other? Bravery in all its bluster is a rare trait. Though many have idealized it and made it a highly sought after attribute, this by itself doesn't necessarily make it more widely available. Why is that? Well, let’s look at it from a purely evolutionary standpoint. A bunch of humans are standing around a berry bush foraging for food. Along comes a big predator that jumps in the middle of them. What happens next is called the fight or flight response, or as my professor in college used to say, "...the fight, fuck, or hit the fence" response. Those that fled would eventually be called cowards, those that stayed and fought would eventually call themselves brave, or be called brave posthumously by the people they saved. That brings up a major point. Bravery really isn't bravery unless you are competent. Otherwise, you’re just an idiot that stopped running. That is why cowardice is so prolific in the world today. The coward ran (and bred) so they could run away another day. The brave men that stayed and fought had to be very skilled so they could live to fight another day, or else they died.

Evolutionarily, the demographics have spoken.

There are a multitude of breeding cowards mourning the loss of brave people that didn’t quite cut the mustard lead by a very few skilled brave people –that no one else is brave enough to stand up against.

Welcome to the same old world order.

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