I was at university at the time of the massacre that took place in China's Tiananmen Square in 1989 — I was the same age as many of those who stood up to the tanks, soldiers and mighty military apparatus of the Chinese government. I remember being in awe of their bravery, particularly that of the young man standing his ground in front of an enormous armoured tank, an image that became iconic when it was broadcast around the globe.
‘How could he do that?' I remember asking myself at the time, completely unable to imagine myself being so courageous. And I think it's fair to say, I never have been.
But there are many ways you can be brave. Few make the headlines. Few earn medals. Fewer still make the cover of Time magazine. However, every act of bravery stems from a decision to make a stand for something that's bigger than yourself and more important than your emotional safety, comfort or pride.
If you've grown up in a democracy that respects civil liberties and freedom of speech then you've likely never felt compelled to risk your life for the greater good. Consider yourself fortunate. But regardless of your good fortune in life — or lack thereof — we're all called to make a stand for something: for the values we care about, for the difference we want to make, for the causes we believe in and for the injustice we don't. Those of us born with rights and freedoms millions ...