Refining the Concept

What follows is an open attempt to refine the underblog. Ordinary person + big obstacle = great opportunity for humanity.

As this idea of global underdogs churned in my head, one of the images that came to mind was that of Tank Man (also known as the Unknown Rebel). He is the unidentified man who stood in front of a column of tanks on June 5, 1989, the morning after the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests by force. (photo by Charlie Cole)TankMan

If you’ll remember the video footage, the tank tried to maneuver around the man, but Tank Man just moved with it to block the tank’s forward movement. That particular encounter concluded without bloodshed. I like to think that the tank driver saw the humanity of the individual and the very personal effects of what he was doing.

In order to get to the essence, we must examine a few questions: What does it mean to be just or right? What does it mean to be humane?


  • Just: Guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness
  • Right: In accordance with what is good, proper, or just: right conduct.


Humane: Considerate, cordial, forgiving, generous, merciful, open-minded, sympathetic, tolerant, unselfish, accommodating, charitable, good-natured, helpful, human, kindhearted, and magnanimous

Some Examples

What are authorities or society telling you that you can’t or shouldn’t do?

  • You shouldn’t aspire to be a doctor (if you’re Deaf).
  • You shouldn’t speak your mind (if you’re a low-level employee).
  • You shouldn’t question government (if you’re a common civilian).

The Noise

Whether it’s society, family, or some authority…here’s some more noise:

  • You’re too short, to play basketball professionally.
  • You’re too extreme, to have your own Olympic sports.
  • You’re too poor, to do anything meaningful.
  • You’re too nerdy, to obtain status.
  • You’re too young, to have compassion.
  • You’re too low-ranking, to speak up.

To get the ball rolling, I scanned the GoodNewsNetwork of stories this year to find potential examples of what to cover. It’s a work in progress. While they may not fit the bill exactly, these six still caught my attention. They’re in the right vein. Please check out one or two that grabs you.

I’m interested to know what your thoughts are about this topic, what’s engaging, and what referrals you might have. Besides the comments section, I hope to incorporate your feedback through other tools or widgets in the near future. I’m not certain I’ve seen many productive conversations through blogs, but I’m exploring. Thanks for visiting.


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