A man in Florida was recently arrested and charged with “Stolen Valor.” I’ll admit, I had to look that one up.. Seems this fellow was impersonating a military officer in order to receive money and gifts. He had assumed the role of a better, more honorable (military) version of himself to garner sympathy, admiration and ultimately financial gain-hence the charge of Stolen valor; a federal crime.
This case reminded me of that teenager (also in Florida) who was masquerading as a physician. Not sure that was about money though, I think the kid just wanted to “play doctor.”😳
Recently, I’ve seen an alarming collection of videos featuring people assuming other roles as well..in these cases, the roles of provocateurs…not for money, but most likely to incite others or just garner their fifteen minutes of fame. Ugly, personal, verbal attacks online, scary physical altercations, property destruction and heated exchanges have occurred on college campuses, on airplanes and in the street. No discussion or demonstration seems to escape an “F-WORD” carpet bombing.
And while I am sure that most Americans can’t imagine themselves impersonating a doctor or military officer, it seems that more and more of us are hitting the streets, podiums, classrooms and twitter with an anger fueled willingness to embrace new roles as self righteous enforcers of moral purity and/or sharp-tongued, belligerent bullies seeking to provoke chaos and confrontation.
Maybe we all need to take a deep breath and ask ourselves..
Is it possible to advance a noble cause with disgraceful behavior and acts of dishonor?