How The Civil War Changed The World

A family affair: infantry near Washington

A family affair: infantry near Washington

“Even while the Civil War raged, slaves in Cuba could be heard singing, “Avanza, Lincoln, avanza! Tu eres nuestra esperanza!” (Onward, Lincoln, Onward! You are our hope!) – as if they knew, even before the soldiers fighting the war far to the North and long before most politicians understood, that the war in America would change their lives, and the world.

The secession crisis of 1860-1861 threatened to be a major setback to the world antislavery movement, and it imperiled the whole experiment in democracy. If slavery was allowed to exist, and if the world’s leading democracy could fall apart over the issue, what hope did freedom have?” Don Doyle New York Times

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“People with high self-esteem pose a greater threat to those around them than people with low self-esteem.” Lauren Slater

Riding high on self.

Riding high on self.

So the news is out. After years of study experts have discovered that it’s high self-esteem that poses a bigger threat to society than low. In fact low self-esteem seems to pose very little real threat to civilization. On some level didn’t we already know this? The insufferably self-assured student asking the dumbest questions and wasting everyone’s time in school, the politician who thinks his stories are funny and the jock who  sneers at all of his weak underlings come to mind.

For the writer the highly egotistical, pushy jerk is incredibly fun to write about. People with no humility, brimming with blind ambition screw over everyone. Their dazzling lack of boundaries keeps the other characters off kilter but strangely attracted to the whirlwind of hubris. My husband asked recently if my character Fred Crenshaw (Buck’s volatile brother) would ever be redeemed. I laughed. No way in hell.

People like him very rarely change. They have high regard for themselves. They love themselves and have great pride in their accomplishments, but if we think about it we see that this regard is really the root of all bad behavior.

Do you have high self-esteem? Are you a danger? Please report yourself to the authorities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubris

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/03/magazine/the-trouble-with-self-esteem.html