by Arya Gupta
On October 12, 2019, I, along with many other students in the Youth Leadership Development Program, were given the privilege to tour the massive facility of the Houston Food Bank, the largest food bank in the country, and listen to an inspirational talk by the Brian Greene, CEO and president of Houston Food Bank.
Greene has grown the Houston Food Bank from a small warehouse to the enormous production site it is today, serving over 18 counties and 800 thousand people every year.
An idea that was reiterated throughout Greene’s presentation was the importance of moral courage. Upon quoting Mark Twain as, “It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare,” Greene explained how physical courage is an innate action and how displaying moral courage is the real challenge.
Anyone would save a drowning child, even if that meant risking one’s own life, but very few would be ready to stand up and raise a voice against injustice. This moral cowardice is a result of the fear of social rejection present in our character. Mr. Greene emphasized the need for society to transition from moral cowardice to moral bravery. This would help make the world equitable and success easy to attain.
After listening to Greene’s captivating presentation, I ask myself many questions. Where would America be if Rosa Parks had given up her seat on the bus and succumbed to the pressure of the racist American beliefs at that time? Where would India be if Mahatma Gandhi hadn’t led the Independence movement against the British rule and instead had accepted India’s inferior position in the world?
Moral courage is an essential quality necessary to be a successful leader. By conducting many welfare projects in the Houston Food Bank, Brian Greene has displayed the moral courage needed to bring change in the community and has proven himself a true leader. He is an inspiration for me and many others of my age.