April 5th, 2012

I used to think that moral courage was just an isolated moment where
your actions demonstrate who you are and the values that you hold
close to your heart. However, lately I have started to view moral
courage differently. Every single day, we make the decision to life
our lives in a just and ethical way and these patterns collectively
define what it means to embody moral courage. But in the same way that
this ideal is demonstrated by upholding honesty in your academic
endeavors, knowing who you are and staying true to your beliefs no
matter the situation or outcome is the unarticulated type of moral
courage that powerfully operates as an agent of change. Being able to
say “I believe __” is empowering and when you speak up and
represent a voice in the face of conflict or injustice that IS moral
courage. Duke students are all capable and motivated individuals, but
somewhere along the way we compromise what we know is right, because
we fear the consequences of challenging the status quo. We channel our
activism through social media, but as a result we neglect the core
components of moral courage- taking a stand and acting on it. Through
my extracurricular involvements, especially with Develle Dish, I have
re-defined my moral courage. I have learned to embrace the power of
writing a piece that sparks dialogue in the community and I have
learned that moral courage is the understanding that one person can
make a difference through his or her actions. Attending this dinner
and being surrounded by such strong and inspiring students,
professors, and administrators would help me expand on these ideals as
I seek new ways to channel moral courage into my everyday life at Duke
University.


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