Fighting the Good Fight

By Mike Rothman

Here in the US, today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For many this means a day off. For others it’s a continued call to arms to right the injustice we see. For me, it’s a reminder. A reminder of how one person’s efforts can make a difference against unsurmountable odds. How passion, focus, and a refusal to fail can change the world. Not overnight and not without setbacks, personal sacrifices, and a lot of angst. But it can be done.

We in the security world seem to forget that all the time.

Make your dreams reality...Today started like most other days. I checked my email. I looked at my Twitter feed and, surprisingly enough, a bunch of folks were bitching about PCI and stupid assessors and all sorts of other negativity. Pretty much like every other day. I shut down my Twitter client and thought a bit about why I do what I do, even though it seems to make no difference most days. It’s because it’s the good fight and the mere fact that it’s hard doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue pressing forward.

Rich summed it up very well a few weeks ago in his Get Over It post. Human nature isn’t going to change. So we’ll always be swimming upstream. Deal with it. Or find something else to do.

And to be clear, what we do isn’t hard. Fighting for civil rights is hard. Overcoming oppression and abject poverty and terrible disease is hard. Always keep that in mind. Always.

The Boss is constantly telling me there is no grey in my world. Right. Wrong. Nothing in between. And pushing to educate our kids about what they should and should not do online is right. Pushing to help our organizations understand the risks of all their business plans is right. Trying to get senior management to appreciate security, even though it makes their jobs harder at times, is right.

Doing nothing is wrong. If you are reading this blog, then you are likely very fortunate. With resources and education and opportunities that billions of people in this world don’t have. So yes, what we do is hard. But it’s not that hard.

On this day, where the US celebrates one of its true giants, a man who gave everything for what he thought was right, take a few minutes and re-dedicate yourself to fighting the good fight. Because it’s the right thing to do.

Image credit: “Martin Luther King, Jr.” originally uploaded by U.S. Embassy New Delhi

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We taught kindergarten Sunday school this weekend and it was amazing to see a group of six year olds in 2011 not only KNOW the history of MLK, but understand that what he did still helps people today. Enduring lessons and actions built a legacy that lives on through generations.

Maybe security folks need to be more concerned with the LEGACY of their contributions, versus the today or tomorrow impacts or setbacks.

By Paul

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