Thursday, 29 September 2016

Ordinary Heroes (Oct-Nov 2016)

Awakening the Good in You

"Simply put, then, the key to heroism is a concern for other people in need—
a concern to defend a moral cause, knowing there is a personal risk,
done without expectation of reward."
Philip Zimbardo, What Makes a Hero? (2011)

“…someone with personal integrity is often required to take action against an issue that seems unjust or inequitable…The person cannot simply refuse to participate in the behaviors. A person with true integrity must stand up for what he or she believes.”
Quick et al, Managing Executive Health,  (2008, p. 178)


This entry continues the call to the international church-mission community (CMC) to practice the highest standards of transparency and accountability. It calls upon people to acknowledge their own propensity for acting deceptively and complicitly (corruption) as well as their own capacity for acting truthfully and heroically (integrity).

Part One includes resources to help you understand ordinary heroism: the good and bad within everyone, the pressures to rationalize and support evil, and examples of ordinary people doing good. How do we awaken the good and the heroic in ourselves to help others, act with integrity, and confront evil? Part Two gives a short update on the NCI KB et al fraud, an ongoing opportunity for ordinary people to act heroically and to do what is right.

Part One: Resources—Understanding Ordinary Heroes
“Heroism can be defined as having four key features: a) it must be engaged in voluntarily; b) it must involve a risk or potential sacrifice, such as the threat of death, an immediate threat to physical integrity, a long-term threat to health, or the potential to for serious degradation of one’s quality of life; c) it must be conducted in service to one or more other people or the community as a whole, d) and it must be without secondary, extrinsic gain anticipated at the time of act.” The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (p. 466, 2008)

Pro-Integrity Heroes
--What Makes a Hero? Phil Zimbardo, Greater Good Science Center (six minute video, overview)
--The Psychology of Heroism, Kendra Cherry Very Well (website), 16 July 2016

Anti-Corruption Heroes, Transparency International
--True Stories (short accounts from around the world of people confronting corruption)

Part Two: NCI Update—Calling for Ordinary Heroes
It has been over nine years since the NCI KB fraud began to be publically confronted (July 2007). It has also been nearly two years since four of the organizations included in the Shine the Light-Together petition and several of their leaders were formally presented with the petition, asking for their assistance. Leaders in Youth With A Mission, Mercy Ships, Youth For Christ, and Crossroads Church (Ferney-Voltaire, France) received separate email-letters in August 2014 regarding the petition with the names and comments of 100+ people who signed it

We are not aware of any further action undertaken by organizations to investigate and disclose how they may have been affected by NCI KB in line with the specific concerns in the petition. A few individuals over the past months have sent personal emails, but nothing official and nothing related to taking any action. Click here to see the paper trail: (August 2014--current). We thus continue the resolute, public call a) for assistance from all those affected in various ways by the NCI fraud; and b) for verifiable disclosures/independent reviews (transparency and accountability) by four of the organizations listed in the petition.

The organizations and people affected by NCI can call for organizational leaders to authorize independent reviews. People can also disclose what they know and how they have been affected. It is crucial to model good financial practice and integrity, for one’s own sake and for the sake of one’s organization, the church-mission community, and the general public. As per the opening quote from Managing Executive Health, “A person with true integrity must stand up for what he or she believes.”

Our world needs ordinary people who will do what is right in spite of any external pressure and inner anxiety to do otherwise. The good and the heroic in us can trump evil.
Escher's Circle Limit IV

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