“A Time for Outrage!”

“A Time for Outrage!”

By John Herd
October 9, 2011

The word “outrage” has taken on a whole new meaning for me after viewing an interview of author, Stephane Hessel.

Mr. Hessel speaks of outrage in its most positive sense, portraying it to be not necessarily anger, but the driving force behind people trying to make good things happen.

I highly recommend watching the C-SPAN Book TV interview.

In my opinion the interview is an must see video, not because of it’s being a very interesting and inspiring video, which it is, but because it is such a heart warming portrayal of an absolutely charming man.

At 94 years of age Mr. Hessel continues to have a magnificent almost blinding sparkle of charming vibrancy that will warm the heart.

I came away from watching the interview with a rekindled faith in mankind that I’d not so strongly felt since marching at the lead of an anti Vietnam war demonstrations in the late sixties.

Hessel’s words were partially responsible for my feeling that way, but it was also because his book, “A Time for Outrage!” published in various translations has sold many millions of copies worldwide.

The book has for some become an almost iconic symbol for people unwilling to remain silent and inactive about status quo wrongs in the world, about governments’ actions or inactions, about corrupted or broken economic and commercial markets, etc.

Mr Hessel, has lead an amazingly impressive life. He was a French Resistance fighter during World War Two. He worked with de Gaulle, was captured by the Gestapo and waterboarded, and was sent to a concentration camp from which he escaped. After the war Mr Hessel became a diplomat. As a United Nations speechwriter he worked in collaboration with Eleanor Roosevelt on drafting the “United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

He is a man for the people.

Mr Hessel’s message is be active, be involved, for constructive active outrage can bring positive change.

That sounds like a dry message, maybe even boring for those who are not politically oriented, but he conveys it in such a delightful endearing way one comes away adoring the man.

Having been an advocate for a particular community for over two decades I wish I could have conveyed the get involved message as eloquently and inspiringly as Mr. Hessel does in the interview.

As a disclaimer, I’ve not yet read his book, but hope to buy it next week because I can’t wait to read it.

But as I stated, it was the man and his heart warming, sometimes playful spirit that incited me to write this article.


John Herd


About johnherd

A free thinker
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