“The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.” ~ Jim Hightower
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~ Steve Jobs
I am a true believer that The Universe, or The Divine, or whatever you want to call it, has our backs. Its on our side. It wants us to succeed, to grow, to leave fear, greed, and the lust for power behind so planet Earth is a more peaceful place to live. But in order to do that, we have to survive as a species.
I’m not an expert on history, but I do know there have been crucial times when humanity could have been killed off. Most of those times occurred in the 20th and 21st Centuries. For some reason we have always been saved. Maybe it’s because someone could see the consequences of the path humanity was on, that we were going to destroy ourselves unless they took action. This has happened in so many ways too numerous to recount here. I want to share one that I recently discovered in a recent movie that Barry and I watched the other day on Amazon Prime Video.
It’s The Courier, a Cold War drama based on actual events and people. In 1960, Oleg Penkovsky, a high ranking Soviet official is terrified by Khrushchev’s rhetoric of power and his desire to use his nuclear arsenal to prove it. At one point later in the movie, Penkovsky says to Emily Donovan, the CIA agent, “Khrushchev. Khrushchev frightens me. He is impulsive, chaotic – a man like that should not have nuclear commands.” He is so frightened, that he contacts officials at MI6, who then contact the CIA. They in turn recruit globe trotting British business man Grenville Wynne, to receive Penkovsky’s communiques and deliver them. This begins shortly after the first scenes in 1960 and eventually helps the U.S. get photographic proof of the nuclear arms build up on Cuba and helps President Kennedy avert a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
During this crucial time, they were betrayed by a middle ranking official in the American or British Embassy and arrested. When Penkovsky comes home to get his wife and daughter so they can escape with the help of the CIA, the KGB officers are there waiting for him. The head KGB official orders Penkovsky to tell his wife why he’s being arrested. He says, “I’m a traitor.” And Barry said, “Yes, and saved the world.” Penkovsky and Wynne saved the world from nuclear destruction because they had the courage to try to save us. Wynne is reluctant at first, naturally. He’s a business man, not a spy. But Penkovsky says to him, “Grenville, we are only two people. But this is how things change.”
To me people like Penkovsky and Wynne were being guided by something higher than themselves. There are people like them blowing whistles on wrongs being committed all over the world. Most of them are not exposing situations as dire as nuclear war. But every time someone risks losing their job, or their reputation, or their life by speaking out, the trajectory of humanity is changed. It’s been changing a lot lately. Thank heavens!
Those of us who are awake have to stand up for each other, and stand up for what’s right where we live. I’m not going to save the world by making sure we don’t blow ourselves up. But I can be a cheerleader for my students. I can help them develop their talents and gain confidence in who they are. Every person who heals, heals the world and makes it a better place to live. I can also spread the word about the good work my podcast guests are doing. Every little bit of positive progress helps us.
After watching The Courier, I felt like I needed to thank Penkovsky and Wynne for saving my life, and the lives of everyone and everything on the planet. What they did was extremely important and I’m grateful to them for risking their lives for us.
I hope you watch The Courier. It depicts a very scary time in human history. I was in third grade at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. My parents, and almost every other adult I knew, were glued to the news. Fear was like a thick blanket of clouds darkening everything happening for those few terrifying days.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to understand that fear is our true enemy, not each other. If we can dispel fear, that’s one of the best things we can accomplish during our lifetimes.
Have a peaceful weekend. Thanks for reading and following my poor attempts to make sense out of what’s happening in the world.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2021
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