As long as man has been upon this earth, there have been liars, thieves, narcissists, sociopaths, and adulterers. Saying that these baser qualities are just part of human nature, and therefore somehow excusable, is just unacceptable to me on every level. All of us have grown up with challenges we wish we could have avoided, relationships and experiences that left us scarred, but they were all necessary for us to develop the character and wisdom we currently possess. And part of that path to wisdom is the realization that how a person responds to what life presents them is a choice. Even survival is a choice. You can roll over and offer your soft underbelly to the wolves, or you can stand and speak up for what you know in your heart is right, true, and moral. And through your example, others learn how to do the same. If enough stand and speak out against dishonesty, indifference, prevarications, and greed, others will follow. You don’t need a title to be a leader, and you don’t need to be elected to office to have influence. Our world needs heroes, not martyrs … more courage, less chaos … more integrity, less shame.