The Trouble with Niceness

I couldn't have been more than ten when my grandma passed away.  I remember her, wasted away, lying on her bed in an aging manufactured home, with an IV in arm, dying of cancer.  By that point she'd been so saturated with morphine that conversation was impossible. I can think of many words to describe the scene, mostly tragic -- but brave is certainly not one of them.  And unlike so many organizations and people frequently do, I wouldn't dare use the word brave to describe anyone dying of AIDS, or anyone else battling cancer, or any other person suffering from any other sort of disease, however warm I may appear by doing so.  We may perhaps call such sufferers stoical, recognizing that certain smile in the face of adversity, and comparing them with the renowned Roman ascetics -- but to call them brave is neither fair not true. No -- it isn't brave to continue living, any more than a man can be considered brave for jerking the wheel to avoid an oncoming car, or...(Read Full Article)

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