WASHINGTON, DC, November 14, 2022 – Libra Group Executive Chairman George Logothetis inspired US policymakers and other thought leaders in attendance at the Oxi Courage Awards on October 27 at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. In a keynote entitled “Courage Unseen,” given immediately before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Iranian women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad, the Iranian regime’s most wanted woman, were honored with the prestigious Oxi Courage Award, Logothetis praised their courage, while also recognizing those unseen who struggle today for freedom, those who fight their personal demons, as well as those who struggled at great personal cost and said “OXI,” to fear throughout history.
Please click here to watch his speech (10:30), which has already received over 148,000 views.
On the face of it, we’re here tonight to celebrate courage in all its current manifestations, to recognize heroes of today, but also to remember heroes from yesterday. It is our continuing, solemn duty to celebrate those who came before, those who fought for the freedoms that we ourselves did not earn, and recognize those today who are fighting to preserve, protect, and then pass on those very freedoms. But I submit there is more to recognize tonight. Tonight must also be about clarifying what courage really does mean for us in today’s world.
… But I submit courage is feeling the fear, tasting the injustice, feeling in your bones the insidious oppression flowing through you, knowing the potential consequences, and yet acting despite it all. Honored guests, that is courage. Different, distinct from heroism, courage is a choice, a decision, a conscious act to stand firm, the possible consequences be damned, to stand with one’s principles in spite of and despite the fear.
… And these men and women of courage we are honoring tonight, standing firm, holding the line, confronting their fears, burdened and oppressed by fears seen, not yet armed with the outcome unseen. They, too, are saying OXI.
… But yet, I think we should also take this time to honor courage unseen.
We see on today’s evening news tonight’s honorees standing firmly and defiantly. We see that courage. What we cannot see is the same quality of courage exercised daily by the young and the elderly leaving the now blown up rubble that had been a home for generations in Ukraine, carrying the remnants of their home, of those homes, on their backs in a satchel, but doing so defiantly, knowing they are fighting to pass on what was given to them: autonomy, freedom, democracy. Their courage is no less real, no less admirable, although unseen. We see a few seconds of a clip on the evening news of women marching openly and defiantly for their rights and dignity in Iran. But what we cannot see is the courage they must have hour after day after week after month continuing their protest whilst knowing others who have done so were targeted for harsh reprisal. And that courage is no less staggering, although unseen.
… So there we have it, ladies and gentlemen. Let us try to emulate them. Let us try to emulate it. Both courage seen and courage unseen.