Some young aspiring journalist — obviously fishing for secrets of the trade — asked me the other day in email: “Do you purposely say things that are outrageous?”
“No,” I continued, “if you really want to bring the house down, say something that is obviously true. But it has to be something everyone knows, at least in his heart; something that everyone is thinking — subconsciously perhaps, but fairly near the surface. Be the first person to say aloud what everyone in the room is thinking, and then you may watch the ceiling come down.”
Why do we hesitate?
Low motives easily suggest themselves. “I should like to keep my job. I should like to stay out of prison. I should like to avoid being hauled before another Press Council, or a Human Rights Tribunal. I should like to have a quiet life, and continue paying my spousal support. Things may seem bad sometimes, but they could be worse.”
The cock crows thrice. There are saints, there are people who know that there are saints, and there are people who don’t know. One should aspire to rise at least to the middle condition. Not everyone is called to martyrdom, but everyone is called to witness.