T Nation

Courageous or Stupid?

My father is a commercial real estate developer so recently he got a call about a armed robbery at one of his shopping centers. A guy had pulled up to a woman coming out from the grocery store, aimed a gun at her and told her to give him her purse. She refused. He drove off scared.

My reaction was that the lady was very brave to be able to look at a guy holding a gun at her and refuse to give him her purse. Then my dad snickered and said it was stupidity. I agreed but then pointed out that the president made the decision to go headfirst into this war and it was a brave move that is considered stupid by what was it? half the US population including myself. But I do not deny it as a courageous move.

Then it was a brave (and I think stupid) move for my sister-
(who is the most conservative…wont watch anything Focus on the Family says is bad…tells me Im a terrible human being and will have gay children because I watch Ugly Betty (there is a gay 9 year old in the show)…watches/reads Bill O’Reilly every night, extremely sheltered/naive, you get my point)

-to tell some guys in the street that were selling drugs in front of her friend’s crummy apartment door in the apartment complex hallway to go find another place to do that “like some alley or something” and even slammed her friend’s door in their faces and they ended up going away. Her friend remains alive to this day.

Shes the biggest idiot Ive ever known in my life.
(whos also a top student at her first tier law school shes at, which I find extremely paradoxical-I thought everyone at the top of their classes were the smartest ones, yeah? sarcasm)

I think that soldiers in good situations in their lives even before going to the military
(and anyone choosing to go to military over other options) are brave people.

an extreme example being Pat Tillman turning down the 3.6 million Cardinals contract to enlist in the Army and ended up dying. My boyfriend at the moment all that was going on, who was very cold-hearted probably will always be-told me after reading an article on Tillman that he thought he was the biggest idiot alive for turning down that contract and going to die but I consider that bravery.

My dad agreed with me on this yet he still thinks that that lady was stupid for doing what she did and said that 99% of everybody I ask will fully agree with him on that view and thus proceeded to acting full of himself.

I then suggested that perhaps there are different levels of bravery. Of course I dont think it is intelligent to refuse to give money by the risk of your own life but I think it was brave she could do so at the same time.

Theres a big difference you can die for your money(like she may have) or you can die to give freedom? I wont die for money but you can be damn sure April 24th my ass will be in the army putting my ass on the line for freedom.

[quote]John S. wrote:
Theres a big difference you can die for your money(like she may have) or you can die to give freedom? I wont die for money but you can be damn sure April 24th my ass will be in the army putting my ass on the line for freedom.[/quote]

She wasn’t defending her money. She was defending her freedom.
The robber violated her freedom to go about her daily life without an unsolicited intrusion.

Freedom is a position, not an act. If everyone positioned themselves in their righteous freedom such as that lady we wouldn’t need an army.

The quality she displayed was in essence neither courage nor stupidity - it was freedom.

The quality of freedom from fear.

The evidence that she was standing in a position of absence of all fear is in the fact that her stance instilled fear in her aggressor as revealed by the cowardice of his subsequent act.

It almost always seems to boil down to the following: Gut vs Brain.

  • If I share the same values or feel the same way as the other dude(dudette), then emotions takes over and it’s brave.
  • If I feel nothing special, or I can look at it in a detached, cold, intellectual way, it most probably looks stupid.

Just my 2 cents.

It’s stupid. If she was killed her purse would have been of no use to her (and they guy would probably have ran-off with it).

If she gave him her purse, at worst she’d have had to cancel cards and get some stuff replaced.

Going to war is another story. Whether you believe that the war is justified or not, there’s at least a goal and a purpose (freedom, self-defense, etc). Even if one (or several people) die fighting, other will continue to fight for that goal or purpose and the individual sacrifices might not be in vain (unless you lose the war).

A purse, on the other hand, isn’t worth dying over (and with a gun at point-blank range, aimed directly at your head, it’s not like you’d have a reasonable chance of fighting the guy off).

[quote]julia87 wrote:
My father is a commercial real estate developer so recently he got a call about a armed robbery at one of his shopping centers. A guy had pulled up to a woman coming out from the grocery store, aimed a gun at her and told her to give him her purse. She refused. He drove off scared.

My reaction was that the lady was very brave to be able to look at a guy holding a gun at her and refuse to give him her purse. Then my dad snickered and said it was stupidity. I agreed but then pointed out that the president made the decision to go headfirst into this war and it was a brave move that is considered stupid by what was it? half the US population including myself. But I do not deny it as a courageous move.

Then it was a brave (and I think stupid) move for my sister-
(who is the most conservative…wont watch anything Focus on the Family says is bad…tells me Im a terrible human being and will have gay children because I watch Ugly Betty (there is a gay 9 year old in the show)…watches/reads Bill O’Reilly every night, extremely sheltered/naive, you get my point)

-to tell some guys in the street that were selling drugs in front of her friend’s crummy apartment door in the apartment complex hallway to go find another place to do that “like some alley or something” and even slammed her friend’s door in their faces and they ended up going away. Her friend remains alive to this day.

Shes the biggest idiot Ive ever known in my life.
(whos also a top student at her first tier law school shes at, which I find extremely paradoxical-I thought everyone at the top of their classes were the smartest ones, yeah? sarcasm)

I think that soldiers in good situations in their lives even before going to the military
(and anyone choosing to go to military over other options) are brave people.

an extreme example being Pat Tillman turning down the 3.6 million Cardinals contract to enlist in the Army and ended up dying. My boyfriend at the moment all that was going on, who was very cold-hearted probably will always be-told me after reading an article on Tillman that he thought he was the biggest idiot alive for turning down that contract and going to die but I consider that bravery.

My dad agreed with me on this yet he still thinks that that lady was stupid for doing what she did and said that 99% of everybody I ask will fully agree with him on that view and thus proceeded to acting full of himself.

I then suggested that perhaps there are different levels of bravery. Of course I dont think it is intelligent to refuse to give money by the risk of your own life but I think it was brave she could do so at the same time.

[/quote]

So what if the robber persisted ,and she got shot ,and killed over what probably amounts to much of nothing in her purse …Some things aren’t worth fighting for ,and the potential loss of ones life over some lip stick a few credit cards ,and maybe a few dollars in change is hardly worth risking you life .

Bravery and stupidity are not mutually exclusive. An act can be both at the same time.

I consider an act stupid when the person does something where the risk is greater than the reward, but they do it anyway. For example, if the lady was worried only about her credit cards and checks, then it was stupid. If it was a situation where it was an act of defiance where she feels the need to “take her neighborhood” back or some such thing (and this was of highest priority to her, even over her life), then it was not stupid.

Either way, facing down a gun or crack dealers is brave. Bravery is simply an act where you are afraid but do not allow the fear to cloud your judgment. If your judgment is shit to begin with, then the act could be both brave and stupid. :slight_smile:

It comes down to how one wishes to live their life. There will be those that live their life with their heads and will do anything to avoid situations that may result in death.

And there will be those that live their life with Faith and Patience and fear nothing but God, as seems to be the case with the actions of the lady.

As for your sister, she’s no idiot based on her academic life and I’m proud of the decision she made, but remember that no one has the right to judge how one decides to live their life or say you will have this… or you will have that…and it isn’t difficult to see what kind of person O’Reilly is.

All soldiers are brave for risking their lives and well-being in the name of Freedom but what you have to understand is everyone in the World prays to the same God and it’s the lies and deceptions by those in power on all sides that is complicating Peace.

Remember these things need to happen…

[quote]Alpha F wrote a steaming pile of dog shit.

[/quote]

Refusing to give up your purse does not equate to a soldier fighting for freedom. Not even close.

There’s no way to prove this but I bet 99 out of 100 soldiers in Iraq would give up their wallets when unarmed and faced with a gun. Why? Well, because they’re brave not stupid.

Sounded pretty though, LOL.

Most drug dealers I don’t think would kill over getting a door slammed in their face, its not worth it. Killing over territory or bad drug deals, now that’s something they would do. She sounds ballsy, though.

The line between bravery and stupidity is usually crossed based on the success of the act.

Don’t pick your battles, that’s lame. Fight all of them. Existence after death is just as awesome (probably more awesome) than existence during life. So do what is right, not what is best for you. And she wasn’t risking her life for her purse, she was risking her life for a principle. A principle is always worth dying for.

You type quite poorly.

Anyways, the coolest things in the world(such as bravery) are often performed by stupid people.

[quote]carter12 wrote:
Alpha F wrote a steaming pile of dog shit.

Refusing to give up your purse does not equate to a soldier fighting for freedom. Not even close.

There’s no way to prove this but I bet 99 out of 100 soldiers in Iraq would give up their wallets when unarmed and faced with a gun. Why? Well, because they’re brave not stupid.

Sounded pretty though, LOL.
[/quote]

I’ll take AF’s side here, at least for the sake for argument.

I’m sure you’ve had stuff stolen from you before as we all have, so I’ll ask, how did it make you feel? Did you feel violated? Maybe a bit helpless that you couldn’t stop or even find who did it? Is it safe to say you felt a bit victimized? I know when I’ve had stuff stolen, my anger and desire for revenge are far out of proportion to the value of the objects lost because the theft represents far more.

Taking an extreme example, one could look at a rape scenario and say that a woman should just give in and not fight the attacker because if she just lets the rapist have his way then she probably won’t suffer nearly the physical trauma as if she fights. This perspective would be considered ludicrous as a rape represents the ultimate in personal and psychological violation. If a woman died fighting off a rapist, no one would question the wisdom of her defense.

While the magnitude of trauma for these two events isn’t even on the same page, the basic principle still applies to some degree; one’s psychological health is of immense importance and value. Now to be clear, I’m not arguing that one should fight to the death over a five dollar bill, but I understand if someone chooses to stand and fight over the principle, the integrity’s and sovereignty of one’s own personal space.

Speaking of which, if anyone I’m not dating tries to take food from my plate, they can expect at best a slap upside the head (family and friends) and at worst a fork in the eye (complete strangers). Am I the only one who gets completely irrational when it comes to my food?

[quote]HardcoreHorn wrote:
Don’t pick your battles, that’s lame. Fight all of them. Existence after death is just as awesome (probably more awesome) than existence during life. So do what is right, not what is best for you. And she wasn’t risking her life for her purse, she was risking her life for a principle. A principle is always worth dying for.[/quote]

Someone please take the samurai books out of this dude’s hands.

I also thought Alpha F was on to something. At least, I could see the basis for the argument.

I’ve had a number of these kinds of discussions as my sister is a brilliant PhD with the Street Smarts of a toaster. She’s a college professor with 6 kids. I’m not sure she knows where babies come from. lol

Something else that caught my attention:
Forgive me . . . there is a 9 year old gay child on “Ugly Betty”?? Is such a thing possible?? Forgive my ignorance but I have three kids that are 10, 8, and 6 and I don’t perceive them as even sexually aware.

I know that my two girls prefer to play with other girls simply because they want their dolls to “talk and shop” while my son and his friends want the dolls to become missiles and destroy the davenport.

How does a 9 year old determine they are gay??

I mean, I knew I liked girls in the 4th grade but I don’t think I would have thought to declare my sexuality as hetero OR homo.

That was over 35 years ago. Are things that different in grade school now?

You’re HOT… but you seem a little too neurotic for your own good.

Courageous, very courageous…

KCB.

[quote]carter12 wrote:
HardcoreHorn wrote:
Don’t pick your battles, that’s lame. Fight all of them. Existence after death is just as awesome (probably more awesome) than existence during life. So do what is right, not what is best for you. And she wasn’t risking her life for her purse, she was risking her life for a principle. A principle is always worth dying for.

Someone please take the samurai books out of this dude’s hands. [/quote]

Hahaha. Well hey if he’s that keen to die then good for him I guess.

I personally want to live. If it came down to death or giving away my wallet I would just hand that sucker over and go home and appreciate all the good things I have in my life.

[quote]KCB wrote:
You’re HOT… but you seem a little too neurotic for your own good.

Courageous, very courageous…

KCB.[/quote]

Do they film the Disney Channel show “Life with Derek” anywhere near you? I can just tell that those guys are Canadian.

[quote]carter12 wrote:
HardcoreHorn wrote:
Don’t pick your battles, that’s lame. Fight all of them. Existence after death is just as awesome (probably more awesome) than existence during life. So do what is right, not what is best for you. And she wasn’t risking her life for her purse, she was risking her life for a principle. A principle is always worth dying for.

Someone please take the samurai books out of this dude’s hands. [/quote]

hahaha.