The great heroes of human history, names and deeds forever glorified for acts of unspeakable goodness. We teach about these people, read about them, view them in high-definition plasma-color… we imagine them as larger than life embodiments of ideals altogether unrecognizable in ourselves.
These epic tales of whimsical champions, viscous villains, and brightly colored spandex jumpsuits… inspire a sense of heroism in us, a desire to help others, a call to arms in the battle for the “greater good”
But many of the worst horrors of human history, they-who-shall-not-be-named and dastardly deeds infamized by acts of unspeakable terror… were also perpetuated by people who truly felt in their hearts that they were helping people, that all their efforts were for the “greater good”
Hitler will forever go down in our texts books as a villain, and there are few who would contest that. But Hitler believed himself to be a hero, and persuaded many others to believe that as well. He had a vision of what he believed to be a better world, and he wanted to make that vision a reality.
His logic, was deeply, deeply flawed.
But he didn’t need logos to rally the following that he did.
He just needed pathos.
Logos without Pathos, doth a jackass make. This reporter will be the first to admit that she is partial toward such jackassery, especially in this dank age of meme.
But Pathos, without Logos, is deadly, and highly infectious.
Finding a balance between the two… without just falling back on Ethos like a Donald Trump “believe me” compilation… is tough, but I do believe we have all made some headway here.
On that note, I leave you with the musing that I reflect on here tonight, in both the peeve that grinds my righteous gears of indignation, and in self-reflection of such advice I may have yet to take in full heed:
to discuss is to seek understanding, not to be understood.